Spotted Bear area fires mean backcountry travel concerns

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Seven fires are currently burning in the Spotted Bear Ranger District on the Flathead National Forest and with active fire growth on several of the fires, district officials have closed trails for public safety. The fires are burning in the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas. Significant stretches of the Continental Divide Trail are affected by the fires and have trail closures.

Individual fires are listed below with a link to more specific fire and trail closure information:

Strawberry Fire - Upper Middle Fork, Great Bear Wilderness, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5574/#

Scalp Fire – Upper Middle Fork, Great Bear Wilderness, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5520/#

Dolly Varden Fire - Upper Middle Fork, Great Bear Wilderness, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5519/#

Soakem Fire - Upper Middle Fork, Great Bear Wilderness, as of 9/1/17, 1.5 acres; located in the upper Miner Creek drainage. No closures currently associated with this fire.

Reef Fire – Youngs Creek drainage, Bob Marshall Wilderness, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5525/#

Rice Ridge Fire - Youngs Creek drainage, Bob Marshall Wilderness, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5414/#

Monahan Fire - Danaher Creek drainage, Bob Marshall Wilderness, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5401/#

There are several trail closures on the Lewis and Clark National Forest, Rocky Mountain Ranger District also associated with the Scalp Fire, and the Crucifixion Fire in the Badger-Two Medicine area (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5528/).

For a map of all the trail closures within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, visit the Flathead National Forest webpage, https://go.usa.gov/xRHrA.

Visitors planning to travel along the CDT, contact the Spotted Bear Ranger District for information on alternative travel routes

“Safety for the public is my main concern when closing trails, however there are many areas still open for backcountry use and camping” said Spotted Bear detailed District Ranger Gordon Ash.

Contact the Spotted Bear Ranger District at (406) 758-5376 for current fire information and opportunities for backcountry use.

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