Start date: August 13, 2015
Location: Approximately 14 miles west/northwest of Philipsburg, MT
Total Personnel: 141
Current Size: Approximately 196 acres
Resources Assigned: John Thompson’s Type 2 Incident Management Team assumed command of the Scotchmans Gulch Fire on August 14 at 6:00 p.m. Two northeastern Type 2 Initial Attack handcrews arrived on the 16th from Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. The Sacramento Hot Shot crew from New Mexico, arrived on 18th and have begun direct suppression efforts. Crews are remotely camped out near the fire. The team is working with the Northern Rockies Coordination Center in Missoula to best utilize the limited available resources.
Closures: Several Forest Roads and Trails in the vicinity of Scotchmans Gulch Fire are closed including: Miners Gulch Road, (Forest Road #5156) located in T8N, R15W, Section 30 for the entire length and all associated spur roads including Forest Road #78547 and #78548. In addition, the Sandstone Trail #228, starting at Sandstone Ridge Trailhead and continuing northeast along Sandstone Ridge to the junction of the Hogback Trail #268 are closed. The Hogback Trail #268 is also closed in its entirety west to Rock Creek Road along with all National Forest System lands from Rock Creek road back to the Sandstone Ridge trailhead.
Resources Threatened: Private Structures in/around Upper Willow Creek and Rock Creek drainages, Agriculture including livestock and hay on private land. Timber and forage on private land along with forest infrastructure.
Current Status: Yesterday firefighters continued to secure line along the southern and western portions of the fire. Wednesday afternoon increased temperatures and winds led to fire activity in the northeast portion of the fire. Spot fires in the area rekindled, igniting unburned fuels, which grew together. Air tankers were able to drop 3 loads of retardant to prevent the fire from spreading to the east. Crews continue to be supported from a remote camp with supplies being flown in by helicopter.
Planned Actions: With the potential for increase fire behavior again today the fire may produce more smoke.
A population protection plan has been prepared and will be reviewed with Granite County Sheriff and Department of Emergency Services (DES) today. Firefighters will continue building and securing fireline and extinguishing hot spots in the northeastern area of the fire. Helicopters will deliver additional supplies and equipment including water bags with handpumps. Additional aircraft is also available for fire support as needed.
Weather: Thursday will continue to see an increase in temperatures and wind. Temperatures on the fireline are expected to be 70-74 and sunny with relative humidity decreasing to 20-25 percent. Winds will be 6-12 mph out of the west with gusts up to 20 mph.