Highway 37 Fire near Libby causing asbestos exposure concerns

Posted at 11:30 AM, Jul 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-22 13:30:02-04

Crews are continuing to fight the Highway 37 fire, which is burning north of Libby.

As of Saturday evening, the latest information from infrared cameras estimated the fire to be roughly 46 acres.

It’s located four miles northwest of Libby along Montana Highway 37.

Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and the Libby Volunteer Fire Department along with other heavy equipment are fighting the fire. 

Multiple aircraft have dropped water and fire retardant to slow the fire’s growth. 

Fire managers are concerned as the fire is burning about 1.5 miles from the former WR Grace vermiculite asbestos mine.

The U.S. Forest Service is taking extra measures to ensure employee health and safety from potential asbestos exposure.

The extra measures include personal protective equipment for firefighters to protect against potential exposure to asbestos-contaminated dust and ash.

The Lincoln County Asbestos Resource Program is preparing to begin air sampling for airborne Libby Amphibole asbestos in case it becomes necessary.

Canoe Gulch Road, Kennedy Gulch Road, and Alexander Creek Road on the Kootenai National Forest are closed at this time.

div[data-mml-type=”relatedcategory”]{border: thin solid #e7e7e7;} .categories-right-icon{display: none;} .stories-area > hr{margin: 0px;} .stories-area > iframe {border: white;} div[data-mml-type]{ overflow: hidden; } div[data-mml-status=”draft”] {display: none !important;} div.fb-post span, div.fb-post span iframe{max-width: 100%;} div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].left, div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].left, div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].left{ float: left; position: relative; overflow:hidden; max-width:100%;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].right,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].right,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].right{ float: right; position: relative; overflow:hidden; max-width:100%;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].center,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center{ width: 100% !important; overflow:hidden; text-align: center;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center iframe,div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center twitterwidget,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].center iframe,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center iframe{ margin: auto !important;}div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center > span{ margin: auto !important; display: block !important;} .mml-display-none{display: none !important;} div[data-mml-type=”gmaps”], div[data-mml-type=”youtube”] {position:relative; width:100%; padding-bottom:56.25%;} div[data-mml-type=”gmaps”] iframe, div[data-mml-type=”youtube”] iframe {position:absolute; left:0; top:0;} div[data-embed-type=”clip”],div[data-mml-type=”clip”]{position: relative;padding-bottom: 56.25%;width: 100%;box-sizing: border-box;} div[data-embed-type=”clip”] iframe { position: absolute;}div[data-embed-type=”social”] {position: relative;padding-bottom: 56.25%;width: 100%;box-sizing: border-box;} div[data-embed-type=”social”] iframe,div[data-mml-type=”clip”] iframe { position: absolute;}.frankly-img{max-width:100%;}.mce-item-table{word-break: break-all;}