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West Lolo Complex fires at 1,692 acres, community meeting planned

West Lolo Complex
Posted at 9:40 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 13:35:54-04

The West Lolo Complex fires in Mineral and Sanders counties have burned an estimated 1,692 acres and remains 1% contained.

Fire managers report progress is being made in containing several fires initially assigned to the West Lolo Complex.

Firefighters and equipment are being released from the Sheep and Cataract fires as those fires are 100% contained.

Crews are currently focusing their efforts on Deep Lookout Mountain fire due to the values at risk and high probability of success.

West Lolo Complex Fires

A public meeting will be held at the Community Hall in Thompson Falls on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m.

A fire information line at (208) 274-9674 is available daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

There are 426 people assigned to battle the West Lolo Complex fires.

Superior Ranger District:

Sunset Fire: 19 acres, located on the Dry Creek Divide, eight miles south of St. Regis

Sunset fire saw minimal growth yesterday due to suppression efforts by firefighters. Mop-up operations will continue today to ensure no heat exists within the fire’s perimeter. Resources that are no longer needed to support current suppression activities will be re-assigned.

Deep Lookout Mountain Fire: 327 acres, located on the upper reaches of the Deep Creek Drainage, north of I-90, 12 miles east of Superior, and five miles west of Stark Mountain Lookout

Due to the solid progress by fire crews, heavy equipment, and aerial resources the Deep Lookout Mountain Fire saw minimal growth yesterday. Additional resources arrived on scene yesterday including two Type 1 Hotshot crews, two Type 2 handcrews and one engine. These resources are a critical asset in performing full suppression tactics. Today, resources will utilize heavy equipment to build containment lines around two spot fires located southeast of the main fire. Firefighters will also focus suppression efforts establishing direct line around the fire’s perimeter. Additional resources will be shifted to the Deep Lookout Mountain Fire as containment on other fires within the Complex are completed.

Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District:

Sheep Fire: 3 acres, located on the west of the Clark Fork River across from Quinn’s Hot Springs, ½ mile off the ridgeline, and visible from Highway 135 and Highway 200

Firefighters have successfully contained the Sheep fire. The speedy, efficient progress made on this fire allows for additional resources to be re-assigned to the Deep Lookout Mountain Fire, as it remains the highest priority. This will be the last report for the Sheep Fire unless significant activity occurs. It will be handed back to the district and remain in patrol status.

Cataract Fire:1 acre, located east of Cataract Ridge

No growth on the Cataract fire yesterday. Fire crews will continue mop-up of the fire today. This will be the last report for the Cataract Fire unless significant activity occurs. It will be handed back to the district and remain in patrol status.

Siegel Fire: 20 acres, located 3-4 miles up the Siegel drainage northeast of Quinn’s Hot Springs

Firefighters will continue to mop up operations focusing on the fire’s interior. Some resources will shift to support higher priority fires within the Complex.

Thorne Creek and Winniemuck: 1,322 acres, located northeast of Thompson Falls

The Thorne Creek and Winniemuck fires are burning in close proximity to each other and are expected to merge in the coming days. They are located in steep, rugged terrain, in heavy dead, downed fuels in the Cube Iron/Silcox area and, in their current location, pose an extreme risk to firefighter safety. Fire managers, with the use of aerial reconnaissance have been assessing access points while developing a full long term suppression and management strategy. Today, firefighters will continue tree felling assisted by heavy equipment in areas identified as access points to implement suppression actions. Fire crews will scout and assess heavy equipment line prep on the Graves Creek Road from Forest Service boundary to Vermillion Pass. Smoke will be visible from these fires and, at times, could be significant.

Evacuations, Closures, and Additional Information:

  • Area, road, and trail closures are issued for areas impacted by fire on the Lolo National Forest. Closure information is updated here.
  • A temporary flight restriction is in place over the Deep Lookout Mountain, Siegal, and Sunset fire areas.