ELMO - The Niarada Fire 12 miles west of Elmo has grown from 18,366 acres to 20,365 acres with containment remaining at 25% as of Wednesday morning.
A community meeting to discuss the Big Knife, Niarada, and Mill Pocket fires on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Elmo Community Center. The meeting will be broadcast live on the CSKT Division of Fire Facebook page. Another community meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Arlee Community Center. The meeting will broadcast live on the CSKT Divison of Fire Facebook page.
Fire managers report that the blaze is beginning to become more active as the fuels continue to dry from last weekend's rain. However, cloud cover on Tuesday helped keep relative humidity moderated fire activity, which allowed for some small firing operations to be successful near lines.
Structure protection crews are continuing to work outside Elmo towards Big Arm, and a night shift helps keep watch over changing conditions and fire behavior.
A helicopter drooped water on Tuesday to firefighters working Mill Pocket Fire cool the northwest side where heat remains.
A pre-evacuation warning issued by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is in effect. The area includes Alexander Road, Early Dawn Road, Spring Lane Road, Walking Horse Lane, Windward Heights Road, Wildhorse View, Buffalo Bridge Road, Saddle Drive, Island Butte Lane, Bridle Path, Ten Deuce Way, Cliffview Drive, and Ricketts Road.
A pre-evacuation warning means there is still a potential threat from the blaze. People are asked not to bring back evacuated livestock until the area is downgraded to ready status.
The remainder of the town of Elmo is in ready status.
Drivers are urged to use caution when driving on Montana Highway 28 as firefighters and equipment are still working in the area.
The Niarada Fire was sparked by lightning on July 30, 2023, after a storm went through the area.
There are 260 people assigned to the blazes.