Highway 200 Complex fires grow to nearly 23,000 acres - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Highway 200 Complex fires grow to nearly 23,000 acres

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THOMPSON FALLS - The Highway 200 Complex fires near Thompson Falls and Plains have grown to nearly 23,000 acres.

Fire managers report that crews successfully conducted a burnout of unburned fuels to create a black line, hold the fire lines and suppress any spot fires. 

A public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Thompson Falls Community Center.

Pre-evacuation warnings are being coordinated by the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office. A new warning was issued Saturday from Guy Hall Road east along Highway 200 to Prospect Creek -- including Clear Creek and Cherry Creek areas. 

There are currently no mandatory evacuations in place at the Highway 200 Complex fire which is comprised of the Sheep Creek, Deep Creek, Cub Creek, Miller Creek and Reader fires.

There are 295 people assigned to the Highway 200 Complex fire.

Sheep Gap – 45% Contained – 12,900 acres:  Pre-evacuation orders remain in effect for areas along River Road West to the north of the fire.  Heavy equipment is being used on the north side and in Swamp Creek to complete a shaded fuel break.  The dozer line is being completed as a structure protection line.  Firefighters continue to implement control actions and provide structure protection along the contingency lines located north, east, and south of the fire.

Deep Creek – 5,479 acres:  A Pre-evacuation order is still in effect East of the Clark Fork River in the Blue Slide Area.  Please the National Forest Closure Order for Blue Slide Road near Belknap.  The fire is backing downhill towards Graves Creek and is being held on mechanical lines.  Weather conditions are allowing the primary objective of implementation of a burn-out operation to remove unburned fuel between the main fire and established firelines.  An existing hose-lay, which is a combination of hose strung along fireline, are also being used to wet the areas adjacent to firelines.  Smoke will be visible as areas within the fire continue to burn.

Cub Creek – 3,802 acres:  Pre-evacuation orders are in effect for an area west of Highway 200 from White Pine Creek to Cherry Creek.  Containment lines have limited fire growth.  Critical hotspots remain around the southernmost tip of the fire near Helwick Peak.  The fire is expected to continue growth south toward the Clear Creek drainage.  Resources from the Reader Fire, including engines, heavy equipment, water pumps, and sprinklers, are staged below the fire and will be deployed for structure protection if needed.

Reader Fires – 90% Contained - 152 acres (total): The Reader 1 and Reader 2 fires are being managed conjointly due to their proximity.  Mop-up activities continue the Reader Fires in addition to the efforts to improve existing containment line.  Resources will be redeployed to the Cub Creek Fire as they become available.

Miller Creek – 657 acres: This fire continues to be monitored and patrolled for fire growth.  Appropriate resources are in the area.

 RELATED: Federal help approved for two more Western WT wildfires

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