Posted: Jul 28, 2013 9:48 PM by Mackenzie Lee - MTN News
Updated: Jul 28, 2013 9:49 PM
ARLEE - The Firestone Flats fire burning northeast of Arlee has burned about 2,000 acres since sparking to life on Saturday afternoon, and firefighters are still streaming into the area.
Crews worked quickly at the Arlee Pow Wow Grounds on Sunday to set up an incident command post for the Type II teams that will be taking over fighting the blaze.
Local crews have fought the fire hard since it was called in, but with the fire standing at 2,000 acres and 0% containment, they need the extra help.
The Type II crews arrived Sunday morning, and will take over in hopes of slowing down the quick moving fire. Extra equipment and more aircraft assistance have been called in to help.
"The tribe ordered the Type II team yesterday. Just given the fire behavior they were seeing, and the size of the fire - and how much it grew in such a short period of time...they ordered a Type II team that brings in that organization and resources with it that are going to be very helpful in the next few days," Public Information Officer Carey Cooley explained.
Crews worked to set up an Incident Command Post which essentially houses everything firefighters need. They have logistics, food, housing and even showers - and with 20 crews of eight coming in, they needed to set it up Sunday.
Local firefighters will still stay active in the logistics side of the fighting, even though they won't be on the front line. They will work with the Type II team to create a plan that will hopefully contain and stop the fire.
"The local fire response here was very impressive, and they did a really good job of leaving us a really good product. It's hard to judge right now, I haven't been out to the fire, but from everything we're hearing I think we have a really good product, and this fire hopefully won't go very much further," Incident Management Team Deputy Rick Sedlitz told us.
The biggest factor facing firefighters is the weather as the hot and dry conditions make it tough to gain control of the blaze.
There are still many people who have been evacuated from their home, and they are being asked to go to the "Y" junction on Jocko Road if they have any questions.
A flight restriction in the area is in effect for planes not assisting in fighting the blaze, meaning no aircraft are to fly within a five mile radius or lower than 10,500 feet above the fire.