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J P
06-30-2016, 12:28 PM
First wildfire of the season here started last Friday. Midday lightning + 30-40 mph winds.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf01_zpsb6rsrmut.jpg


The smell of summer in western Montana. Not even July yet. Hoping they hammer that thing early while resources are available.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf02_zps7r5fqnfb.jpg


Meanwhile, the service berries are in their prime.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf03_zpssdwhybsc.jpg


10-7 "out-of-service" berries.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf04_zpsizyx0tpg.jpg

J P
06-30-2016, 12:33 PM
Yesterday. Not looking good up there. Advanced over the ridge.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf05_zpsgq7iukez.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf06_zpsm734pgwg.jpg


View from the south. Lake Como in foreground.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf07_zpsaaq6bvsl.jpg

Edit: Some history: That land between the water and smoke is known as the "Lick Creek" area. In 1906 it was the site of a 37million board foot timber sale, the largest to date in the newly established national forest system. It's been logged again this past year, hauling out ~1500 truckloads. Controversial as always.

Chip-skiff
06-30-2016, 12:33 PM
We've been getting smoke from a fire in North Park, just south of the WY-CO border. Earlier than usual.

I cut and hauled two trailer-loads of old sagebrush and rabbitbrush from along our fenceline— stuff burns like a torch. I've been working on our fire buffer for three years, with one more cutting session next May. I also did some burning out with a propane torch and have used fire-resistant paint and sprayed fire retardant on the west (upwind) side of the house.

J P
06-30-2016, 01:06 PM
A local helicopter dipping out of the lake. Didn't get any good shots down at the water but saw some power boaters doing stupid things.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf08_zpswizt9mly.jpg

Below the helo (photo above) used to be a really nice stand of old growth ponderosa pine that the Forest Service destroyed in an effed-up prescribed burn attempt in May 2004. I remember the day. I had plans to do some burning myself but conditions were too hot, dry and windy. I saw smoke by the lake and drove there thinking it must be a wildfire and watched in amazement that they had actually lit the place up in those conditions. Now it's a mess and ironically there is a paved handicap trail to the area with an interpretive sign about the natural role of fire in mature ponderosa, and how it creeps downslope at low intensity and everything is good, yadda, yadda. The FS ignited from the bottom, didn't have adequate resources at hand and lost it.

This K-Max was working hard, getting in some good turn around times.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf09_zpsoxe4dwpk.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf10_zpswa9j4n7w.jpg

J P
06-30-2016, 01:16 PM
Not my photo. Gives an idea of the terrain on the west side of the ridge. Mountain goat, golden eagle and cougar country.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf11_zpswgb5ntdj.jpeg


Lucky wind shift last evening. Turned east and north in reverse of previous advancement.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf12_zpsl33llov8.jpg



http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf13_zpsquyv7unf.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf14_zps2eqrlcve.jpg

J P
06-30-2016, 01:20 PM
Lake Como (Montana) is down in the bottom there.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf15_zps7zfppxpb.jpg

J P
06-30-2016, 01:42 PM
We've been getting smoke from a fire in North Park, just south of the WY-CO border. Earlier than usual.

I cut and hauled two trailer-loads of old sagebrush and rabbitbrush from along our fenceline— stuff burns like a torch. I've been working on our fire buffer for three years, with one more cutting session next May. I also did some burning out with a propane torch and have used fire-resistant paint and sprayed fire retardant on the west (upwind) side of the house.

I work on my place too. About 15 acres of it is mostly ponderosa with some douglas fir, cottonwood, aspen, birch. Been thinning and burning it but with the wrong conditions it could still all go up. The rest is antelope brush, mountain mahogany, and too much cheatgrass -- talk about burning like a torch.

jack grebe
06-30-2016, 03:06 PM
J P........that is a " wooden" inflatable right???????

Good luck, and please keep us posted.

lupussonic
06-30-2016, 03:28 PM
You live in some beautiful country. Good luck.

J P
06-30-2016, 05:35 PM
J P........that is a " wooden" inflatable right???????

A nice wooden drift boat would be sweet. :)
I thought that shot was kind of interesting with the lens flare looking like a rocket launched, or landed. Can't make it out in that shot, but there's a Chinook helicopter working in there. Painted red and white I think. Wondered if BrianW's outfit was on this one?


Good luck, and please keep us posted.


You live in some beautiful country. Good luck.

It might look nice in photos but it's really a horrible place, and fires just comes with the turf.
But thanks for the kind wishes. ;)

Forecast for wind direction looks pretty good until Saturday when it goes back to the usual west southwest. That could push it towards homes, ranches, a few businesses, already on stage one evacuation notice.

J P
06-30-2016, 07:58 PM
Here's a few from a little while ago today out watching the air show.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf630-01_zps6smsnchj.jpg

Not my beef (don't have any) but I'm glad that green pasture is there. Good to see more white smoke than brown and black today.

Off to the right by that peak (below) are three lakes in the cirques. All were being utilized by three of the helicopters working this area.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf630-02_zpswcbtpogs.jpg


A Chinook going back for a dip. Good backcountry skiing on that peak. And I suppose a few less fish in the lakes after this.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf630-03_zps0ijax0ej.jpg


They were getting 4-5 minute turnarounds.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf630-04_zpseu8bgouk.jpg


Looked like the K-Max was trying to grab a cheater bucket from the Chinook's drop.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/obsf630-05_zpsnlesx9eg.jpg

Much respect and thanks for those crews.

J P
06-30-2016, 09:40 PM
Happened by one of the heli bases this evening. How about those K-Max paint jobs? I think this outfit out of Bozeman (?) has three of them.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/m__MG_1719_zpsev5dtl6w.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/m__MG_1720_zpsgt06deua.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/m__MG_1723_zpsfl5k8cvi.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/m__MG_1724_zps91khac7f.jpg

Tried to see if I could cop a ride tomorrow. No go. :D

J P
06-30-2016, 10:13 PM
We've been getting smoke from a fire in North Park, just south of the WY-CO border. Earlier than usual.

I cut and hauled two trailer-loads of old sagebrush and rabbitbrush from along our fencelineó stuff burns like a torch. I've been working on our fire buffer for three years, with one more cutting session next May. I also did some burning out with a propane torch and have used fire-resistant paint and sprayed fire retardant on the west (upwind) side of the house.

I'm curious. Can you elaborate on that fire retardant treatment?

BrianW
06-30-2016, 11:12 PM
Happened by one of the heli bases this evening.
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/m__MG_1723_zpsfl5k8cvi.jpg

Ah, Billings Air Service. They are our friendly competition. Due to that paint job, we call them 'Shamu'. ;)

I'm a bit biased, but I prefer our paint job...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/BrianW/CHI%20Chinooks/IMG_4336_zpsow84wfmf.jpg

We have another Chinook up in Colorado, but don't think they've been to Montana. If you saw a red and white Chinook, it was probably Columbia Helicopters. Our birds look a lot alike.

J P
07-01-2016, 12:22 PM
Ah, Billings Air Service. They are our friendly competition. Due to that paint job, we call them 'Shamu'. ;)

I'm a bit biased, but I prefer our paint job...

Thanks for chiming in Brian. I dunno, I thought Billings looked pretty spiff.

J P
07-01-2016, 05:10 PM
Interesting map posted by the Forest. Shows the current fire perimeter (red outline) and locations of previous fires in the area. I remember the 1988 (lower left) and 1994 (top) fires. Don't recall the one in 1889 though.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/fire2016/Observation%20fire%20and%20historical_zpsigmtgh3y. jpg

If they can, and it's looking like they might, hold the northeast, east and south, we'll be good.

The FS ignited a back-burn from a dozer line in the SE a couple nights ago. I have friends that live nearby there and they were not notified about the burnout plans. Already on edge and packed to go, they were not amused to see a wall of flame so close. Turned out OK though. Sometimes they don't. Maybe 'Mum's the word' is the current policy?

delecta
07-01-2016, 05:25 PM
I thought forest fires were actually a good thing and it's just you pesky humans that are the problem.

J P
07-01-2016, 05:38 PM
I thought forest fires were actually a good thing and it's just you pesky humans that are the problem.

They can be "a good thing". And this pesky human will be poking around this fire area next spring hunting morels. :D

BrianW
07-01-2016, 07:48 PM
I thought forest fires were actually a good thing and it's just you pesky humans that are the problem.

Which is why the main efforts are meant to manage them, and prevent damage to structures, rather than simply putting them out (which is rather hard to do.)

Chip-skiff
07-01-2016, 08:05 PM
I'm curious. Can you elaborate on that fire retardant treatment?

I was looking to see if I still had the bucket. I used two products, one being a primer paint formulated to bubble up with extreme heat and protect the surface, which I used on outside walls. The other is a waterbased spray that I used on wood supports and a deck. I tested both and they seemed to work as stated. Looked for receipts, but can't find them. I think this was the product:

http://www.flamestop.com/

J P
07-01-2016, 09:39 PM
I was looking to see if I still had the bucket. I used two products, one being a primer paint formulated to bubble up with extreme heat and protect the surface, which I used on outside walls. The other is a waterbased spray that I used on wood supports and a deck. I tested both and they seemed to work as stated. Looked for receipts, but can't find them. I think this was the product:

http://www.flamestop.com/

Interesting, thanks Chip. I see some of that in my future.

Paul Girouard
07-01-2016, 10:11 PM
Interesting, thanks Chip. I see some of that in my future.


Google, "No Burn, Inc" We've used it on projects where replacing wooden support post in garage's wasn't practical , nor was wrapping them in GWB. The stuff's pretty amazing , it's been a couple of years since we used it , but IIRC some thing over 500 F , like a propane torch doesn't scorch the paint.

It may have to in applied by a No Burn dealer, our local lumber yard sells and applies it for us.

Not sure what color's it comes in either.

J P
07-01-2016, 11:44 PM
Thanks Paul, I'll look into it.

J P
07-07-2016, 12:24 PM
This fire is looking much better now. 30% contained. Good fire fighting and a lucky break in the weather bringing cooler temps and some moisture. Rare for July here. The evacuation notice was rescinded yesterday.

They painted about a mile and a half of aerial dropped retardant on a ridge at the NE flank. Fun to watch some of that airshow.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/MTBRF/2016-06-27-1048-Observation-Fire/medium/2016_07_03-17.37.31.311-CDT.jpeg

They followed up with a heavy equipment line on the ridge while hitting hot spots with helicopter drops. Eight helicopters working this fire. Expensive, but effective in this terrain.

No complaints from me on the handling of this fire. It will likely continue burning in the backcountry until the snow flies so it will be on the radar 'til then.

J P
07-07-2016, 12:25 PM
A bigfoot was spotted on the fire.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/MTBRF/2016-06-27-1048-Observation-Fire/picts/2016_07_02-21.00.27.558-CDT.jpeg