Posted: Jul 31, 2013 4:04 PM by Katy Harris
Updated: Jul 31, 2013 4:07 PM
Moose Meadows Fire managers are preparing for possible risky weather patterns.
Large cumulous clouds are expected to move through the fire area, located 18 miles southwest of Philipsburg. These clouds could bring dry lightning which creates a safety hazard for firefighters being struck. It could also bring a potential of new fire starts.
Wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour could bring erratic winds and affect the fire.
Aircraft are flying over the area today to monitor the fire and weather in case the weather turns.
"Our firefighters that are up on the main ridges where lightning typically hits, we will have to disengage and move them down to lower elevations, get into vehicles and or something of that nature so that we don't jeopardize fire fighter safety, which is number 1 in our book," Moose Meadows Fire Public Information Officer Ted Pettis said.
Fire managers are expecting more cumulous cloud weather patterns over the next few days, Pettis said. Meanwhile, inclement weather caused two spot fires to form from the Moose Meadows Fire, and now those three fires about to converge into one.
The main fire is on the west side of the map while the two spot fires are on the east side. The west side of the main Moose Meadows Fire is about 10 percent contained. Firefighters are mopping up 100 feet inside the perimeter.
Fire managers are allowing all three of the fires to grow together because there's only about a mile-wide distance where it hasn't burned yet and that could create a safety hazard for fire crews.
The two spot fires to the east have burned up to 300 acres a piece.
As of Wednesday the Moose Meadows Fire has burned 3,100 acres.