Lightning sparks two
Swan Valley fires


August 16, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana


(From the Swan Valley
Ecosystem Center)

Two lightning caused fires detected in the Swan Valley last week have been suppressed and are now being patrolled by local fire crews.

The 25-acre Bunyan Fire north of Crystal Lake in the Mission Mountains was mopped up over the weekend after burning in heavy fuels for several days. Initial attack on that fire, which was discovered on Monday August 6, included several retardant drops and more than 200 water-bucket drops from a helicopter. Two twenty-person crews were assigned to the fire in addition to about 15 local firefighters and equipment operators. All of these personnel and resources, with the exception of local crews, were released from the fire over the weekend. Fire personnel continue to patrol the burned area daily.

A second lightning caused fire was discovered over the weekend near Woodward Point, northwest of the Swan River State Forest office at Goat Creek. This fire, estimated at one-tenth of an acre, was suppressed by local fire crews with the aid of helicopter water drops. The Woodward Fire was in the mop-up stages on Monday, and in patrol status by Tuesday. Ten firefighters were assigned to the fire initially. Most have now been released from the fire to be ready for initial attack elsewhere.

For more information about these fires, or for questions about current restrictions or smoke conditions, call the Swan River State Forest (754-2301), the Swan Ecosystem Center (754-3137) or the Condon Work Center (754-2295). To report a fire or other emergency, call 9-1-1.