WeatherWildfire Watch


Niarada Fire near Elmo grows to 13,686 acres

Niarada Fire
Posted at 9:41 AM, Aug 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-04 10:36:34-04

ELMO - The Niarada Fire a dozen miles west of Elmo has grown from 8,400 acres to 13,686 acres burned as of Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

The blaze was sparked by lightning on July 30, 2023, as part of the widespread lightning storm that went through the area.

Hot, dry, and windy conditions have been pushing the fire which is burning in grass and timber.

A mandatory evacuation remains in place from the top of the Pass on Brown’s Meadow Road South to Highway 28. The mandatory evacuation also includes Kofford Ridge Road.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office has placed the Walking Horse Lane area in pre-evacuation status while the town of Elmo is in "ready" status.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has issued a pre-evacuation warning for Hubbart Dam Rd/NF-544 from the intersection of Crossover Road south to Montana Highway 28.

People are also advised to use extreme caution when driving on Highway 28. Visibility is very poor, and the speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph.

Fire managers report the Niarada Fire remained active Wednesday, spreading both to the northeast and southeast.

The southern part of the blaze is continuing to see growth in heavy timber to the east towards Elmo with torching and short-range spotting leading to uphill runs in heavy timber.

The northern part of the Niarada Fire continues to flank around the 2022 Elmo fire scar and is growing to the north with short uphill runs and torching.

The nearby Mill Pocket Fire has burned approximately 2,000 acres and is west of the Niarada Fire.

A community meeting for the Big Knife, Noriada, and Mill Pocket fires will be held on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, at the Arlee Community Center at 6 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live on the CSKT Division of Fire Facebook page.

There are 66 people assigned to the blazes which are 0% contained.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect an increase in the number of acres burned.