Goose Fire south of Ennis now at 3,790 acres

ENNIS – Wildfire officials say the Goose Fire, which burns 32 miles SSE of Ennis, MT near Hoodoo Pass, now sits on 3,790 acres.

A nighttime infrared mapping flight more accurately mapped the fire on 3,790 acres. The fire moved west/southwest along FS Trail 8388, about half a mile north of Elk Lake. The prescribed fire north of Elk Lake earlier this year and last year’s fire east of the lake are helping to slow the fire’s progress south. In addition, the road and the lake itself will help as barriers without vegetation. The fire did not cross the handline on the southeast side of the blaze west of Elk Lake Road.

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In the north, crews will continue to secure areas of concentrated heat on the northeast flank by digging handline and “draining” the area with hoses and water treatment equipment. Air sources will assist ground crews with dropping buckets and monitoring fire movement.

Motorcycle crews patrol and oversee area structures, including around the lakes and along the road network north of Elk Lake Resort. Heavy equipment resources along Jackpine Road are still booking 1/4-1/2 miles a day building a wide fuel gap connecting the road to the West Fork to use for potential future combustion operations.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR:

Today’s forecast calls for smoky and mostly sunny skies. High temperatures should reach the low 80s. Northerly winds are forecast at 8-12 mph, with gusts up to 15 mph. Relative humidity drops below 20%, resulting in drier conditions.

The Goose Fire could be affected by outflow winds with possible thunderstorms moving through the fire area from tomorrow through Friday. The outflow of thunderstorms is difficult to predict and can cause dramatic changes in fire behaviour.

The fire is likely to continue to smolder in heavy, dead fuels in the southeastern portion of the blaze. Fire progression to the south is expected in the woods on the northwest side of Elk Lake, in the Brimstone Creek area. The fire is expected to continue moving at a rate of 1/4 to 1/2 mile per day when fuels, wind and topography align. Single and group tree flares and short crown runs are expected. Spot distances up to 1/2 mile are possible.

CLOSURES:

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest announced extensive area closures with the Antelope Prong boat launch and the Wade Lake, Hilltop, and Cliff Point campgrounds. Refunds for reservations are processed by recreation.gov. The current closing limit is likely to expand, given the recent fire movement. Official closing information can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/bdnf/alerts-notices.

STAGE 1 FIRE CONTROLS:

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest went into phase 1 fire restrictions yesterday. Campfires and stove fires (including charcoal barbecues and grills) are prohibited in the area, unless the use of permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreational areas. Smoking, unless in a vehicle, building, or area 3 feet in diameter that is clear of vegetation is also restricted.

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