The Weasel Fire is burning in steep, heavily timbered terrain near the U.S. Canadian Border in the Rexford-Fortine Ranger District.

We spoke with District Ranger Seth Carbonari on Wednesday afternoon for a report on the fire.

“The fire was detected on Saturday afternoon, and I believe it started from a lightning strike on Friday,” said Carbonari. “It is way up by the Canadian border between or near the boundary with Canada and the Flathead National Forest just east of the 10 Lakes wilderness study area. Right now it's 155 acres. We've got about 60 people up there working on that now, and it's being managed by a Type Three Incident Management Team.”

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Carbonari said fighting the Weasel Fire is difficult and dangerous due to the steep, rugged terrain in the area.

“We're dealing with a fire that's pretty remote and in steep terrain with very heavy fuels and heavy timber,” he said. “It's burning pretty hot, and the fire behavior has been fairly difficult to control to this point spotting out away from itself. So I think it's going to be a challenging fire for us moving into the future. We've got really good folks working on it and we've got good helicopter support for now.”

Carbonari reported that one of his crew was injured while fighting the Weasel Fire.

“We actually had an incident on Saturday where a firefighter was struck by a limb coming out of a tree,” he said. “We had a really good outcome on that. The individual was not hurt badly, but it's a real concern of ours and we want to be smart about the risks we expose our firefighters to, in relation to the values we're protecting.”

Carbonari admitted that due to the nature of the terrain and the heavy timber, his crew will need some help to knock down the fire.

“In order to contain this fire, we're going to have to get some help from Mother Nature with the weather, like a little cooling or maybe even some precipitation,” he said. “However, I feel like we're going to have a really good chance for success where we have some roads in the area. However, getting a line completely around this fire due to the steep terrain and heavy fuels above is going to be challenging.”

Find out more about the Weasel Fire here.

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