Gravel Pit Wildfire Update by Libby

Submitted by Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency

On August 10th, 2023 the huma caused Gravel Pit Wildfire, located 25 miles southeast of Libby, near Silver Butte is burning at 304 acres with a containment of 35%. There is 2 fire crews, 99 engines, 11 tenders, and 5 hand crews. The crews have completed constructing fireline to a depth of two chains (132 feet) on the north, east, and south flanks of the fire to keep the fire to the west of the 763 road. Hose lays and water tanks will remain in place. To the north of the fire, hand crews improved dozer line and continued to mop up heat sources to secure the fireline. On the east flank of the fire, crews mopped up and patrolled the fire line to keep the fire east of the 76 road.

The planned actions are crews will continue with mop up efforts, finding and extinguishing sources of heat on the fire’s interior. To the east, crews will continue to monitor and patrol for heat sources. To the south, many areas of heat remain on the lower portion of the fire. Stumps and log decks provide places for hot spots to smolder for days before flaring up. Today, crews will dig out stumps inside the fire perimeter that are retaining heat after actively burning. Crews will also open up log decks to expose heat sources and extinguish them. Log decks on the exterior of the fire will be processed to reduce fuels in the fire area.

Spot fires and new fire starts from lightning holdovers remain a primary concern. Engines will provide initial attack and suppress new fire starts across the fire area. Firefighter safety remains the top priority. Crews identified a helicopter landing zone in the northeast area of the fire and installed a temporary mountaintop portable radio repeater to the south of the fire to allow for direct communications should a medical evacuation be required.

The predicted weather outlook is breezy conditions will combine with warming temperatures, elevating fire weather concerns. Fire behavior is low, but the potential exists for more active fire behavior with the drying weather pattern in coming days. An evacuation warning will remain in place for residents near the fire area along the Highway 2 corridor. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has notified these residents. All Lincoln County residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by downloading the Code Red application and entering contact information. Code Red is the primary notification system to alert residents of evacuations.

Form Your Own Opinion

Dear Editor,


The  movie, Sound of Freedom and  its surrounding narratives, separates the Left from the Right. For whatever dark nefarious reasons, leftist leadership has been making a powerful effort to censor and discredit this impactful, highly inspirational true story. The movie exposes the profoundly dark subject of the fastest growing criminal and unspeakably evil enterprise on earth, sex trafficking. At the same time it gives its audience a light filled experience. If there was anything untrue, inaccurate or less than praiseworthy about this movie, the left would have revealed it. However, they have not, because none of these attributes are applicable and what they have said is completely unrelated. Their unfounded efforts to censor is a flagrant and obvious attempt to mislead the public.

This movie of undisputed facts clearly defines and represents, love, truth, heroism, faith and hope. It appears the leftist leadership wants nothing to do with any of these things. I’m glad I read what they had to, say, and then seen the movie to form my own opinion. I encourage everyone to do the same. It creates a cogent separation of right from wrong on multiple levels.

Submitted By Chuck Braun

USFS Amend 2015 Land Management Plan

Submitted by USFS Chad Benson, Kootenai National Forest Supervisor


The Kootenai National Forest has identified a need to amend the 2015 revised Land Management Plan (hereafter referred to as the Forest Plan) (USDA Forest Service 2015). This amendment will modify standard FW-STD-WL-02 to delineate additional areas that meet the criteria for recurring use by grizzly bears outside the Cabinet-Yaak Recovery Zone as Bears Outside Recovery Zone (BORZ) areas. The amendment will also update standard FW-STD-WL-02 to reflect the additional linear miles of roads existing within these additional BORZ areas. The amendment will also clarify the circumstances in which the “no net increase” standard for BORZ does not apply.

This amendment only applies to the management of National Forest System (NFS) lands managed by the Kootenai National Forest. This letter is intended to describe the need for the amendment, the substantive requirements that apply to the proposed amendment, and solicit public feedback on this proposal to identify relevant scientific information and potential issues for the decision-maker to consider.

To submit a comment to be reviewed and considered in a timely manner, it is most helpful if they are received within 30-days of publishing in the newspaper of record August 8th. For more information about the project, please contact Sarah Canepa, sarah.canepa@usda.gov Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project and will be available for public inspection. The following options are available for submitting comments: Electronic comments must be submitted by going to the project webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=64585 6 Hard copy comments can be mailed, or hand delivered as follows: Kootenai National Forest Attn: Forest Plan Amendment 31374 US Highway 2 Libby, MT 59923-3022.