Grassy Butte, N.D. - According to the Type II Incident Management Team the Magpie Fire is now 70% contained but still stretches nearly 5,000 acres.
The number of firefighters on scene is 106. The team is also utilizing one hand crew, one helicopter, 14 engines and other support personnel.
They say cooler temperatures helped firefighters increase containment by another 10%.
When asked whether the team was concerned about the upcoming weekend heat wave they said they are not concerned with the hot weather aggravating the fire because the perimeter of the area is safely secured.
However, they were concerned about the hot weather when it comes to how it affects the men and women in the elements battling the fire. They want to make sure they stay hydrated and keep cool.
Today, Friday, July 14th, we are told firefighters will literally be on their hands and knees seeking out and extinguishing hot spots along the fireline. Crews will be assisted by a helicopter which is on standby for reconnaissance or supply needs.
The weather forecast for today is extreme heat with temperatures in the triple digits and sustained winds 8 to 15 mph. Winds are expected to shift direction this afternoon and gusts may exceed 25 mph. Fire behavior could increase, though risk of fire escape is very low. Heavier fuels in the draws will continue to smolder for a couple of weeks. The public should be aware that smoke will remain visible.
No evacuations are in place, but the Magpie and Whitetail campgrounds and a short section of the Maah Daah Hey Trail (NFS Trail 7001) will continue to be closed to ensure publics and firefighter safety.
Yesterday, Thursday July 13th, fire crews continued to monitor and secure the fire perimeter. When it was safe to do so, they also searched extinguished interior hot spots in woody draws.
Agencies aiding in the fight are McKenzie County EMS, McKenzie County VFDs, Billings County VFDs, Billings County EMS, North Dakota Game and Fish, National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, North Dakota State Forest Service.
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