Smoke from fire in Washington creating concern in Montana

smoke Wolverine Fire Montana
Smoke from the Wolverine Fire in north-central Washington travels into Idaho and northern Montana Sunday afternoon. (click to enlarge)

Smoke from the Wolverine Fire in north-central Washington is creating some concern in northern Montana. Some residents smelling the smoke that is blowing into Idaho and Montana are assuming the fire is nearby, but it is actually 300 to 600 miles away, depending on where you are in Montana. Some people in the state are searching for phrases on the internet such as “current Montana wildfire”.

At this time, there are no large, active fires in Montana, except for the Reynolds Fire in Glacier National Park which occasionally sends up a burst of smoke when a patch of vegetation burns out. Some residents in the state could be smelling that as well, since it was putting up some smoke on Sunday and merging with the Wolverine Fire smoke.

More information about the Wolverine Fire on Wildfire Today.

Below are two smoke maps. The first documents the distribution of wildfire smoke as of 4 p.m. MT, August 2. The next is a forecast for smoke at 8 p.m. MT, August 2.

wildfire smoke
Map of wildfire smoke at 4 p.m. MT, August 2, 2015.
smoke forecast
Smoke forecast for 8 p.m. MT, August 8, 2015.

To see the most current smoke reports on Wildfire Today, visit the articles tagged “smoke” at

Wolverine Fire in Washington continues to grow

(UPDATED at 7:30 a.m. PT, August 6, 2015)

Wolverine Fire Aug 1, 2015
Wolverine Fire Aug 1, 2015. Photo by Mario Isaias-Vera.

Since we last reported on the Wolverine Fire on Lake Chelan in northern Washington August 3 it has grown by about 2,000 acres to 26,614, according to data from a 12:09 a.m. mapping flight on Thursday.

map of Wolverine Fire
Map of Wolverine Fire (in red) at 12:09 a.m. August 6, 2015. The yellow line was the perimeter on August 3.

Scroll down to see other maps.


(UPDATED at 2:20 p.m. PT, August 3, 2015)

map of Wolverine fire
3-D map showing the perimeter (in red) of the Wolverine Fire, looking northwest at 3 a.m. PT, August 3, 2015. The yellow line was the perimeter the previous day. The lake is Chelan.

The Wolverine Fire in north-central Washington grew by more than 8,000 acres on Sunday and has now burned about 24,500 acres. Most of the fire’s spread was on the south and west sides. It progressed a mile and a half up the Railroad Creek drainage on the west side and about three miles on the southwest side in the Clone Creek and Tumble Creek drainages. The fire perimeters are on the map above. Scroll down to see other maps of the fire.

Some of the peaks where the fire is burning now reach over a mile above Lake Chelan, the east boundary of the fire. Hopefully the firefighters will not be ferried by boat up the lake to the fire and have to hike to the ridge tops, like we did on the El Cariso Hotshots on the Safety Harbor Fire in that area in 1970. Going down, weeks later, we got a ride in a helicopter. I would have preferred it to be reversed. Fly up, walk down.


(Originally published at 3:29 p.m. PT, August 2, 2015)

Wolverine Fire
Fire activity on the Wolverine Fire, July 3, 2014. InciWeb photo.

The Wolverine Fire near the north end of Lake Chelan in north-central Washington slowly grew since it started on June 29 to 3,714 acres on July 31. That changed the next day when it more than quadrupled to 15,760 acres. (See the maps below.) After burning for more than a month, suddenly Level 3 evacuations were ordered for Holden Village and Holden Mine Remediation, which meant there was no time to grab anything — leave immediately. The evacuation was accomplished through a combined effort of Holden Village, Rio Tinto, Lake Chelan Boat Company, Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, and the US Forest Service. The incident management team provided more information:

Holden Village is not threatened but a Level 3 evacuation was necessary as Lucerne Landing was in danger which is the evacuation route for the Village.

A Level 3 evacuation has also been ordered for Lucerne, Riddle and Lightning Creek.

Sunday morning a Type 2 incident management team assumed command of the Wolverine Fire. They will be relieved Tuesday by a Type 1 team.

The Wolverine Fire has spread throughout the Burn Creek, South Lake Creek, and Forks Creek drainages and is well established in the Emerald Park Creek drainage.

It is on the 45-mile-long Lake Chelan, 23 air miles southwest of Twisp and 30 miles northwest of the city of Chelan.

Click on the maps below to see larger versions.

Wolverine Fire
Map of the Wolverine Fire. The red line was the perimeter at 8 p.m. PT August 1, 2015. The white line is from 24 hours before.

Continue reading “Wolverine Fire in Washington continues to grow”