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Alice Creek Fire now more than 23K acres; more evacuations order - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Alice Creek Fire now more than 23K acres; more evacuations ordered

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Alice Creek Fire (Photo from Inciweb) Alice Creek Fire (Photo from Inciweb)

(UPDATE, 10:40 p.m. Friday) Highway 200 has reopened. Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton encourages everyone to drive cautiously through the area as firetrucks and heavy equipment remain in the area as well.


The Alice Creek Fire is flaring up, and the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office has issued new evacuation notices.

The Alice Creek Fire is moving east above Elk Meadows: Evergreen subdivision. Firefighters are responding. The Sheriff's Office posted this announcement on Facebook at 5:29 p.m. on Friday:

As of now, we are evacuating homes along highway 200, mile post 92 east to Highway 435/434. The evacuations are mandatory and there is a temporary shelter being opened up at the Wolf Creek School.

Highway 200 is temporarily closed east of Lincoln at the intersection of Highway 279 that travels to Helena. The east end of the temporary block is Highway 287, the road that travels to I-15, Augusta and Glacier Park. We are working with the Montana Department of Transportation to block off private driveways all along the evacuated area. When this is accomplished, we will reopen the highway.

The Alice Creek Fire has now burned an estimated 23,427 acres. There is no containment as of Friday.

Since the fire started on July 22, airtankers have dropped about 250,035 gallons of retardant on the fire.

Since August 28th when Great Basin Team 5 took command of the fire, 114,788 gallons of retardant have been dropped. On Friday, eight loads of retardant were dropped. 

Great Basin Team 5 is nearing the end of its two-week assignment. Team members now are focusing on managing the fire while also preparing plans that will smoothly transfer command to the next incident management team, Great Basin Team 2, commanded by Kim Martin. The incoming Team will shadow Team 5 on Saturday and will take command of the fire Sunday morning. 

Resources: Personnel: 258 Crews: 4 Engines: 16 Water Tenders: 8 Skidgens: 3 Dozers: 6 Helicopters: 3

Evacuations: Elk Meadows/Evergreen subdivisions along with all residents along Highway 200, between mile-marker 93 through 97, are under a mandatory evacuation notice. Landers Fork, Elk Trail Park and Alice Creek community areas are under a pre-evacuation notice.

Click here for more information at Inciweb.



MONTANA FIREWATCH

More than 4,000 firefighters (rural, volunteer, state, military, federal, and more) have been involved in the battle against the fires this season; two of them lost their lives fighting fires in western Montana.

As of Thursday, an estimated 1,005,803 acres have burned in Montana in 2017. The number of acres burned by lightning-caused fires is 914,574; the acres burned by human-caused fires is 91,229.

The total number of wildfires so far this year is 1,687. Of those, 746 were lightning-sparked, and 951 were caused by people/vehicles. 

The figures come from the Northern Rockies Coordination Center, which is part of the National Interagency Fire Center. The number of fires and acreage is slightly less than the figures reported by the agency on Wednesday, due in part to more accurate mapping of fire perimeters.

According to Bullock's office, the cost of fighting the fires has reached about $284 million so far in 2017; an estimated $53 million of that came directly from the state budget, and the rest from federal monies.

MONTANA FIRES: HOW YOU CAN HELP

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