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Volume XXV, Number 8

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kootenai Creek Fire Update

Kootenai Creek fire roars across mountain face

Stage 1 evacuation alert and warning issued

By Michael Howell

The Kootenai Creek Fire, which has been burning in the canyon west of Stevensville since mid-July, jumped the canyon ridges last weekend and quickly spread across the face of the Bitterroot Mountains. The blaze was fanned by strong and erratic winds associated with a cold front that moved into the area on Saturday. More...

The Kootenai Creek Fire, which many people assumed was nearly out, expanded by about 1500 acres on Saturday, prompting an evacuation alert in some areas and a public meeting on Sunday that drew about 175 people (below). Highwinds pushed the fire northeast towards Bass Creek and southeast towards Larson Creek. District Ranger Dan Ritter (below), explains his decisions concerning firefighting strategy.

Public Relations Officer Nan Christianson and Stevensville Ranger District Fire Management Officer Bruce "Buster" Windhorst address the crowd of about 175 local residents that attended the information presentation held Sunday at the Stevensville High School.

Stevensville District Ranger Dan Ritter points to a map showing the extent of the Kootenai Creek Fire on September 19 as it covered 4,435 acres. He is indicating with his hand where the fire line constructed in the canyon was still holding. Below his hand is the finger of fire that is reaching into the Sharrott and Larson Creek drainages. Above his hand is the finger of fire that is reaching northeast towards Bass Creek.

County faces off with Forest Service over West Fork Road right-of-way clearing

By Michael Howell

The Ravalli County Commissioners delivered a letter of ultimatum, verbally, to Bitterroot National Forest officials on Monday, demanding that the Forest Service remove the logs and slash in the right-of-way along the West Fork Road by October 5 or the county was going to do it themselves. The County, which did the right-of-way clearing, was stopped from continuing the project and from doing any cleanup work when the Forest Service instigated an investigation into possible timber theft. The County was instructed to cease any activity while the allegations were being investigated. More...

Stevi mayor’s race cut to two candidates

By Michael Howell

An unprecedented five candidates for mayor in Stevensville this year precipitated the first-ever municipal primary election in the history of Ravalli County. The official count is now in and the November election will see only two names on the ballot: Lew Barnett and Clayton Floyd. More...

Stevi School Board amends bond resolution

By Michael Howell

The Stevensville School Board approved placing two building bond levies on the November ballot last week. An Elementary School levy of $8,880,000 and a High School levy of $860,000. The bonds would be sold to pay for the demolition of three buildings and the construction of two new buildings on the school property. That resolution of approval allowed the school district to assume an interest rate of up to 6.5 percent on the $9.74 million in bonds. However, at a special meeting on Monday, that resolution was amended to restrict the allowable interest rate in the bonds to 2 percent. More...

Business stunned by identity theft

By Michael Howell

Ryan Wood, a chiropractor at Active Care Family Chiropractic in Stevensville, was shocked last month when he opened his business’ telephone bill and saw charges totaling $28,771. More...

Glen Moeller of Moeller's Nursery in Corvallis displays his fine pumpkin crop, a sure sign that fall has arrived. Michael Howell photo.


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