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Wildfire near Polebridge at 338 acres, evacuation warning remains in place

Posted at 4:04 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 18:04:23-04

KALISPELL – The Whale Butte Creek fire burning 10 miles northwest of Polebridge has burned an estimated 338 acres.

An evacuation warning that’s been issued for a small number of residents in the area between Moose Creek Road and Whale Creek Road remains in effect.

An evacuation warning for landowners and visitors for all Glacier National Park areas north of the junction of Bowman Lake Road and the Inside North Fork Road also remains in effect.

Some rain fell on the fire on Monday which fire managers say helped to temporarily slow the growth of the blaze. The fire continues to slowly back through surface fuels around the entire fire perimeter.

Firefighters are working to improve fuel breaks along Whale Creek-Moose Creek Road #1671. Contingency lines are also being established along the North Fork corridor with fire managers saying structure protection remains a primary objective.

Due to increased fire-related traffic on the North Fork Road, some work is being done to improve road conditions.

It should be noted that no new backcountry overnight permit itineraries will be issued for parties entering or exiting at the Kintla trailhead. However, day use trails and the Kintla Lake Campground remain open at this time.

The Flathead National Forest, except the Great Bear and the Bob Marshall Wilderness areas, remain under Stage II Fire Restrictions.

No campfires are permitted. Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed building or vehicle, developed recreation area, or barren area three feet in diameter.

The blaze is burning in steep terrain after being sparked by lightning on August 12th.