Montana Fires Grow, Oregon Fire shuts down I-84

Wildfires in the Northwest continue to grow across four states, with one Montana wildfire over 100,000 acres in size. 

Lolo Peak Fire:

Burning north of the Idaho border, west of Highway 93 near the town of Florence

48,337 Acres and 31% contained.

The US Forest Service Says, Active fire movement will continue into the evening due to poor relative humidity recovery associated with a strong inversion. The fire is burning actively on several fronts. Active fire behavior expected as weather conditions continue to be hot, dry and windy. Uphill runs with spotting will be possible with single and group torching likely. This fire behavior is expected along most of the southern flank of the fire.

An Evacuation Order is in effect for all residents west of Highway 93 on the north side of Bass Creek Road north to residents on the south side of Hannaford Avenue and west of Florence Carlton Loop.

Rice Ridge Fire: 

Burning northeast of Missoula near Seeley Lake.

108,126 Acres and 2% contained.

Evacuation orders are being downgraded, but the fire continues to grow.  "Fire will continue to back down slope toward containment lines, as well as move activity to the east producing flanking fire with upslope runs, intermittent crown fire with some spotting."

Eagle Creek Fire:

Burning east of Portland Ore., along Interstate 84.

Estimated 10,000+ acres and 0% containment.

Our sister station KTVZ and the Associated Press reports, The Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge exploded across more than 10,000 acres late Monday and early Tuesday, fueled by heat and winds and forcing evacuations, continued closure of a 45-mile stretch of Interstate 84 and a call-up of 10 structure protection task forces. Interstate 84 is closed from Troutdale to The Dalles. 

The growth of the fire, which blew up Saturday and trapped 150 hikers for a time, led to the closure of I-84, the major east-west thoroughfare through the Columbia River Gorge, initially from four miles east of Multnomah Falls to two miles west of Hood River (Exit 35 to 62). Officials said it was human-caused and apparently started by misuse of fireworks.

Oregon State Police confirmed Tuesday that a 15-year-old Vancouver, Washington boy is believed to have been in a group using fireworks that started the 10,000-acre Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge.

Ibex Fire:

Burning west of Challis, eleven miles west of Twin Peaks Lookout in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness on the Middle Fork Ranger District.

14,503 acres.

The Forest Service says, The Ibex Fire remained active in the Twelvemile drainage and Yankee Fork Meadows Monday. Despite steady winds over the fire area, observations indicate that fire growth was not significant. An update of the exact fire perimeter and fire growth is unknown. Smoke from the Ibex Fire, Bearskin Fire (Boise National Forest), Highline Fire (Payette National Forest), Honeymoon Fire (Middle Fork Ranger District, Salmon-Challis National Forest), and fires burning in Montana continues to impact the town of Challis and the surrounding area.


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