Contact: Fire Information Phone: 406-349-5101
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE UPDATE: July 19, 2012 7:00 a.m. FIRE NAME: Chrandal Creek DATE OF DETECTION: July 6, 2012 CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: 1,800 acres CONTAINMENT: 30%
LOCATION: 42 miles south of Darby, MT (32 air miles)
AGENCY: U.S. Forest Service – Bitterroot National Forest (MT) & Salmon-Challis National Forest (ID)
YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: No rain fell on the fire Wednesday. The roads accessing the fire remained dusty, relative humidity hovered in the mid-teens, and temperatures climbed to the mid-80s. Firefighters observed some torching of trees in the interior of the fire. Overall good progress was made on the eastern and southern flanks of the fire. The northern flank remained active and two helicopters dropped water to assist ground forces. Containment increased to 30%. The eastern edge of the fire remained unstaffed due to steep terrain and lack of safe operating conditions for firefighters. A structure protection plan is in place for the residences in the Hughes Creek, MT drainage. The fire continues to be managed for full suppression.
TODAY’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: Weather over the fire is predicted to be warmer and drier than the past few days. It is anticipated this will cause an increase in fire activity. Winds are expected to increase from the southeast with gusts to 15 mph. Thunderstorms may occur Thursday night. Crews will focus their suppression efforts on the northern flank to deal with hot spots in anticipation of increasing wind. They will be concentrating efforts in the Chrandal Creek drainage portion of the perimeter, including line construction and mopup of any hotspots. Line construction, gridding, and mopup will continue on the southern and southwestern edge of the fire. Infrared observations from the air will be done on the fire perimeter to identify hot spots. Only minor fire movement is expected.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 359 fire personnel, including ten 20-person crews, three helicopters, three engines, two dozers, and three water tenders.
SPECIAL CONCERNS: The Stage 1 Evacuation Notification remains in effect for residents in the upper Hughes Creek, MT area (above Chrandal Creek). Thirty-seven structures are threatened in Hughes Creek, MT drainage. A structure protection plan is in place. It will be implemented in a timely manner if the need arises. The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain with standing dead timber posing a safety risk to firefighters and a challenge for building conventional fire line.
Bitterroot National Forest: An area closure around the fire was put into effect on July 13 due to active wildfire conditions. The closure includes Trails #184 and #106 (Divide Trail) and Mine Creek Road #5688. The Hughes Creek Road in Montana is closed to non-residents at the intersection with Highway 473 (West Fork Road).
Salmon-Challis National Forest: Sections of the following trails are closed: #106, #141, #110, #105, #213, #142. These trails access the ridgeline trail dividing Idaho and Montana, near the active fire.
For more detailed and updated fire and closure information, visit www.inciweb.org.
Air quality monitors are in use at the Painted Rocks Fire Department and North Fork Ranger Station. Current air quality information for the area can be found at www.satguard.com/usfs/fleet.aspx