Lava Lake Fire Continues Burning North of Lava Lake

Media Contact: Marna Daley: 406-570-5526
Marianne Baumberger: 406-579-3732
Immediate Release: August 4, 2014 1100

Custer Gallatin National Forests
10 E Babcock, Bozeman, MT 59715
Web: www.fs.usda.gov/gallatin or www.fs.usda.gov/custer
www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

Lava Lake Fire Continues Burning North of Lava Lake

Bozeman, MT – The lightning caused Lava Lake Fire continues to burn about one mile north of Lava Lake. The now five acre fire is burning in heavy, continuous fuels in a rock outcropping in severely steep and rugged terrain. Two aircraft will be working on the fire today to cool it down and there are four helicopter rapellers that continue working the fire from the ground. The rappellers are from the Gallatin National Forest.

Firefighter safety, given the lack of openings in the vegetation and the steep, rugged terrain that is inaccessible in some areas is the most important priority for managing this fire.

The popular Lava Lake Trail (Forest Service Trail #77) and the trail from Table Mountain that drops down to Lava Lake (Forest Service Trail #445) will close to public use today, August 4 at 12:00 p.m. to address public safety concerns while the aircraft is working in the area.

Custer Gallatin National Forests
Web: www.fs.usda.gov/gallatin or www.fs.usda.gov/custer
www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

Media Contact:
Marna Daley: 406-570-5526
Marianne Baumberger: 406-579-3732

Lava Lake Fire Burning North of Lava Lake in Gallatin Canyon

Bozeman, MT – The lightning caused Lava Lake Fire is burning about one mile north of Lava Lake in the Gallatin Canyon between Bozeman and Big Sky, Montana. The one acre fire is burning in heavy, continuous fuels in a rock outcropping in severely steep and rugged terrain. Given the terrain and thick vegetation firefighters are not able to safely hike cross country to the fire. A helicopter is in route from Billings to begin dropping water on the fire to cool it down. A larger helicopter that firefighters can repel out of has been ordered and is expected to begin work tomorrow. Firefighter safety given the lack of openings in the vegetation and the steep, rugged terrain that is inaccessible in some areas is the most important priority for managing this fire.

The popular Lava Lake Trail (Forest Service Trail #77) and the trail from Table Mountain that drops down to Lava Lake (Forest Service Trail #445) will close to public use Monday, August 4 at 12:00 p.m. When the larger helicopter begins working it needs more area to pick up water from Lava Lake and kicks up more debris than the smaller aircraft. This creates a public safety risk and is the reason the Forest is closing the trails.

People hiking these trails today can expect to see the helicopter using Lava Lake as a water source to cool the fire down. Please avoid the area the helicopter is working in and take precautions to protect yourself.

Fire Name: Lava Lake Fire
Date Detected: August 2, 2014
Cause: Lightning
Location: In the Spanish Peaks portion of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, about one mile north of Lava Lake, between Bozeman and Big Sky, Montana, west of Highway 191 near Cascade Creek.
Current Size: 1 acre with tree torching and spotting
Resources Assigned: One helicopter
Current Status: Helicopter work to cool the fire down will begin today. A larger helicopter that can drop more water and that firefighters can repel out of is in route and should begin work tomorrow. Managers intend to repel four firefighters into the fire tomorrow if they can do so safely.

Closures: Lava Lake Trail (Trail #77) and the trail from Table Mountain that drops down to Lava Lake Trail (Trail #445) will close to public access Monday, August 4, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (noon).
Remarks: The fire is burning in the Lee Metcalf – Spanish Peaks designated wilderness area. While fire managers will try to utilize minimum impact suppression actions to preserve the area’s wilderness character, firefighters intend to safely and aggressively suppress the fire given the thick vegetation and lack of natural fuel breaks between the fire and Highway 191.

-FS-

ATV Rider Flown to Hospital After Crash up Little Bear

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​(Gallatin County, Mont). On Saturday at about 3:00 p.m. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Volunteers with Deputies were called to the Little Bear area south of Bozeman for an ATV crash with injuries. Initial reports from the scene stated that the injured party, a 58 year old male had sustained an injury to his head during the accident. By working in conjunction with the US Forest Service, Summit Air Ambulance, and Montana Highway Patrol, the patient was located, stabilized, and transported. The serious nature of his injuries and distance to the hospital prompted rescuers to send him by helicopter to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

The group of riders was able to help themselves tremendously by staying together and by having cell phones to contact 911 dispatchers immediately after the accident occurred. Sheriff Gootin would like to remind backcountry users to ride within their skill level when participating in motor sports. It is important to always wear a helmet when appropriate for the activity. #####

Suspect in Butte Shooting Arrested in Gallatin County

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(Gallatin County, Mont.) On August 1, 2014, at about 9:00 PM, the suspect in a shooting that occurred the previous night in Butte was taken into custody in Gallatin County.  This operation was put together on very short notice and involved multiple agencies.  Its success was due to the cooperation between the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Bozeman Police Department, FBI, and ICE.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Luke Lapinski, who was considered to be armed and dangerous.  Information had been passed on from investigating agencies that Lapinski was likely in the Bozeman area.  Further information was developed which led to a specific residence on Hidden Valley Road.  In addition a citizen had spotted a vehicle matching Lapinski’s vehicle in the Valley Grove subdivision a short distance from Hidden Valley Road.  A perimeter was established to contain the area, and the joint Bozeman PD / Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) was called out.  As the Special Response Team was beginning to deploy, Lapinski was observed leaving the residence in the Corvette.  Deputies and MHP Troopers on the inner perimeter stopped the Corvette a short distance from the residence, and Lapinski was taken into custody without incident.

Investigators in Butte were notified of the apprehension, and the investigation will be turned over to their agency.  Lapinski is being held in the Gallatin County Detention Center and will have an initial court appearance in Gallatin County before being sent back to Butte. #####