Evacuations and Closures Triggered as Goat Creek Fire Expands East of Missoula
The Goat Creek Fire continues to expand east of Missoula and has grown to over 1,800 acres. Fire Information Officer Carmen Thomason says a closure is now in place starting at the North end of Rock Creek at the Lolo National Forest boundary.
"It is a road closure starting at Rock Creek," said Thomason, "Basically, that is because there is an evacuation in the area.There is both an evacuation advisory as well as a red level evacuation, meaning folks need to be out of their homes and the closure is just to help people move things of value in and out and protect them, as well as to cut down on traffic so firefighting resources can get in there and and work."
A lot of the fighting of the Goat Creek Fire has been done using air power because finding a a good spot for ground attack has been difficult and containment is still at zero percent.
"The ground resources have just not had a good target of opportunity to do any direct line construction, for a number of reasons, they just need to find an anchor place as well as some topography to work off of. And really, it's a firefighter safety issue, there's a lot of real big heavy trees with snags that could get in there and fall on someone."
The Goat Creek Fire is burning a few miles north of the Sliderock fire, which is north of the much larger Little Hogback fire. All three blazes are currently being handled by the same incident management team.