News & Features

‘Extremely Active’ Magpie Rock Fire Burning 3,100 Acres

Firefighters work to establish fire lines; 0% containment

The “extremely active” Magpie Rock Fire near Dixon on the Flathead Indian Reservation has grown to 3,100 acres with 0% containment as of July 31, according to Confederated Salish Kootenai Division of Fire.

More than 300 personnel are now assigned to the lightning-caused fire.

Firefighters strengthened and extended fire lines on the northeast flanks of the fire and it continues to consume small pockets of unburned trees and vegetation inside its perimeter.

Firefighters continue extending fire lines using hand tools, saws and heavy equipment on the east side of the blaze to prevent its expansion toward the Revais Creek drainage. A burnout operation is planned once containment lines are established.

Yesterday, helicopters dropped water to cool hotspots, which slowed the fire’s growth while creating safer conditions for firefighters establishing a fire line.

The fire was reported on Monday, July 27 and is burning in steep, rocky terrain with dense brush and timber.

Revais 6000 Road between Revais and Magpie and Magpie 5000 Road are both closed.

Today’s forecast includes high temperatures, low relative humidity and a small chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

There are no planned evacuations and no threatened structures.

As of yesterday, the Horseshoe Fire, caused by an unattended campfire, 10 miles southwest of Polson along the banks of the Flathead River was 140 acres with 20% containment.

There are no planned evacuations and no structures threatened.

Fire danger across western Montana is high. High fire danger means fine dead fuels like cured grass, needles and small twigs can catch fire readily and fires can start easily. Unattended campfires will likely escape.

Officials remind the public to stay out of wildfire areas and adhere to all road closures.

maggie@flatheadbeacon.com