The Baldy Fire near Lakeside is now 220 acres and additional crews are expected to arrive Monday morning to help fight the blaze, according to inciweb.org.
Aerial water and retardant drops were successful Sunday to hold the fire and allow firefighters to take suppression actions on the ground. Evacuation notices were issued by Flathead County Sheriff’s Office for Bierney Creek Road, including the Lone Wolf and Bierney Trail areas.
Fire crews and suppression resources from the Flathead National Forest, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and Flathead County, including several local and rural fire departments, have responded to the Baldy Fire, which is located about 3 miles west of Lakeside near Baldy Mountain. The fire is being managed by the Flathead National Forest, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and Flathead County under a unified command organization with an Interagency Type III Overhead Team. The origin of the fire is under investigation.
Shelter is located at the Somers Middle School and the Flathead Fairgrounds are available for livestock and pets.
A public meeting to update the status of the fire is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Lakeside Community Chapel.
There are several fires burning in northwest Montana this weekend, including the Baldy Fire near Lakeside, which has prompted authorities to issue evacuation notices on Bierney Creek Road. Here’s updates from Flathead National Forest public affairs officer Denise Germann:
Ninko Creek Fire
The Ninko Creek Fire located approximately 40 miles north of Columbia Falls in the Whale Creek Drainage on the Flathead National Forest had increased fire activity on Saturday, September 26. The fire increased to approximately 500 acres and is burning towards the 2003 Wedge Fire. The fire remains to the north of Forest Road #10355. Resources assigned to the incident include the Flathead Hot Shot Crew, several fire engines including two contract engines, and aerial resources. Forest Roads #318, #9805 and #907, Whale Creek, Ninko Creek and Wedge Canyon Roads, are closed at this time. Trail closures in the area are anticipated as well.
Lost Creek Fire
Smoke will be visible east of the town of Swan Lake from the 1,000-acre prescribed fire project, Lost Creek Fire, of September 16. The interior of the fire continues to burn actively, with an additional 60 acres burning on the divide near Crevice Lake and on the Spotted Bear District due to increased fire activity on Saturday, September 26. Crews are monitoring and patrolling the incident. Trail closures on the Alpine 7 Trail, Forest Trail #7 and in the Crevice Area are anticipated.
Gabe Creek Fire
This lightning-started fire is being managed for resource benefit use and is located on the Spotted Bear Ranger District in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, approximately 20 miles northeast of Seeley Lake, MT. The fire was detected in late July and continues to burn in the interior of the fire. There has been no substantial growth with the fire and it is estimated at about 1,700 acres. The Gordon Creek Trail, Forest Trail #35, is closed between Shirttail Park and Elk Creek. Please contact the Spotted Bear Ranger District at 758-5376 for specific access information in that area.
Interagency fire crews are responding to smoke reports across Northwest Montana. Any smoke reports should be reported by calling 911 or 758-5260.
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