NewsWildfire Watch


Bull Gin Complex fires burning 3,000 acres in Sanders County

Bull Gin Complex
Bull Gin Complex Map
Posted at 10:24 AM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 12:24:15-04

THOMPSON FALLS - The Bull Gin Complex of fires in Sanders County has burned 3,047 acres and remains 0% contained, according to the Monday update.

The Complex is comprised of the Government Fire, the Billiard Fire, and the Isabella Lake Fire.

  • Government Fire: 1,791 acres (NE of Noxon)
  • Billiard Fire: 992 acres (NE of Heron)
  • Isabella Lake Fire: 264 acres (Cabinet Mountains Wilderness)
Bull Gin Complex Map

Fire managers say another smoke-filled day ie expected on Monday. Visibility will be significantly reduced and drivers are asked to adhere to lowered speeds along area roads.

Government Fire

Fire growth occurred on the north, east, and south sides of the fire on Sunday evening with the most active burning taking place from 6 p.m. and into the early morning. Firefighters successfully held the fire at control lines on the west side in the Government Creek area. On the east side, as the fire approaches the Rock Creek drainage, vegetation is being removed along the control lines to reduce the fuels along the road system. Construction of the dozer line to the south of the fire and north of residences on Government Mountain Road has now been completed. Crews are clearing road 2763 of fuels to create a temporary fireline as the fire continues to slowly move south. Night operations are in place with engines monitoring fire spread to the south and attending to trees that fall over the control line on the west end of the fire.

Billiard Fire

The northwest side of the fire is holding along constructed dozer and handline near the 2290 road, northeast of Fatman Mountain. Firefighters will use small firing operations to consume fuels between the control line and the main fire to square off the fire’s edge as the fire reaches the line near Fatman Saddle. Water systems are in place for all structures along Blue Creek, Blue Creek Bay, Hillside Lane, and Fatman Road.

Isabella Lake Fire

The fire remains unstaffed and monitored from the air. Minimal growth of approximately nine acres occurred on Sunday.

The Sanders County Sheriff’s Office placed the residents along Government Mountain and Timber Ridge roads into pre-evacuation status on Friday. People are being asked to sign up for Sanders County Emergency Alerts at 406-203-0082 to stay informed of the status of emergency conditions.

An emergency declaration has been issued by the Sanders County Commission due to area wildfires.

Information regarding road and trail closures can be found on the Kootenai National Forest website.

There are 607 people assigned to the Bull Gin Complex fires.