HUNGRY HORSE - Fire crews continue to make good progress on containment lines around the Ridge Fire which is burning in steep and rugged terrain near the Hungry Horse Reservoir.
The Ridge Fire is burning 3,348 acres in the Flathead National Forest and sitting at 15% containment as of Aug. 17, 2023.
California Incident Management Team 4 Public Information Officer Thanh Nguyen said crews are making steady progress in difficult terrain.
“For the crews that actually be working in there it’s a slow go, but you know they’re just powering through.”
Nguyen said fire crews are utilizing aircraft daily, pulling water out of the Hungry Horse Reservoir.
“Tankers drop lines, retardant lines, we’ve had helicopters and we’ve also had two scoopers that have been flying and dropping water out there supporting the ground firefighters.”
He said the reservoir will remain closed for the foreseeable future allowing pilots to do their job in a safe manner.
“We don’t want people in the water when those two giant scoopers are coming in and getting their water supplies, so we want to make sure that when we actually do open it up, is that we’re pretty confident we won’t have to re-close it, although that’s always a possibility.”
Nguyen said a structure protection group has been working alongside residents under pre-evacuation notice.
“You know the residents have been phenomenal as far as preparing their homes, they live out here, they know what to expect and have been very cooperative.”