Overcast Skies Slow Deep Draw Fire

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL – Overcast skies and milder temperatures have slowed a wildfire west of Elmo, but firefighters are preparing for hotter, windier weather in days to come.

The Deep Draw fire on Thursday was estimated at 1,726 acres and more than 400 firefighters were on hand. It’s now 65 percent contained and firefighters hope to have it fully contained by Saturday, but gusty winds and temperatures approaching 90 degrees could delay that benchmark.

Air support includes water scoopers plying Elmo Bay, eight miles east in Flathead Lake; and retardant planes based in Ronan. They’re dousing the steep and rugged terrain from above,

Rich Janssen is information officer on the Deep Draw fire. He says a couple of ranch homes are near the fire’s edge, and engines are protecting them.