ENNIS — Wildfire officials say the Goose Fire, burning 32 miles SSE of Ennis, MT near Hoodoo Pass is now at 3,790 acres.
An overnight infrared mapping flight more accurately mapped the fire at 3,790 acres. The fire moved along FS Trail 8388 to the west/southwest, approximately a 1/2 mile north of Elk Lake. The prescribed fire north of Elk Lake from earlier this year and last year's fire to the east of the lake are helping to slow the forward progression of the fire to the south. In addition, the road and the lake itself will assist as barriers that lack vegetation. The fire has not crossed the handline constructed on the southeast side of the fire west of Elk Lake Road.
To the north, crews will continue securing areas of concentrated heat on the northeastern flank by digging handline and "plumbing" the area with hoses and water-handling equipment. Aerial resources will be assisting ground crews with bucket drops and with monitoring fire movement.
Engine crews are patrolling and monitoring around area structures, including around the lakes and along the road system north of Elk Lake Resort. Heavy equipment resources along Jackpine Road continue to make 1/4-1/2 mile of progress a day on establishing a wide fuel break, connecting the road to the West Fork, to use for potential future burn operations.
WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR:
Today's forecast calls for smoky and mostly sunny skies. High temperatures should reach the low 80s. North winds 8-12 mph, with gusts to 15 mph, are predicted. Relative humidity will fall below 20%, resulting in drier conditions.
The Goose Fire may be affected by outflow winds with thunderstorms potentially passing through the fire area tomorrow through Friday. Thunderstorm outflows are difficult to forecast and can cause dramatic changes in fire behavior.
The fire will likely continue to smolder in heavy, dead fuels in the southeast area of the fire. Fire progression to the south is expected in the timber 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 torching and short crown runs are expected. Spotting distances up to 1/2 mile are possible.
The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest announced extended area closures to include the Antelope Prong boat launch and the Wade Lake, Hilltop, and Cliff Point campgrounds. Refunds for reservations will be processed by recreation.gov. The current closure boundary is likely to expand, given the recent fire movement. Official closure information can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/bdnf/alerts-notices.
STAGE 1 FIRE RESTRICTIONS:
The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest moved into Stage 1 Fire Restrictions yesterday. Campfires and stove fires (including charcoal barbecues and grills) are prohibited in the area unless using permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites. Smoking, unless in a vehicle, a building, or an area 3 feet in diameter cleared of vegetation, is also restricted.