Location: Bitterroot National Forest
Buck Horn Fire: Lightning caused wildfire burning east of Hamilton in the Sapphire Mountains near Buck Horn Saddle and Gird Point Lookout. The fire is estimated at 20 acres and is burning in timber and grass. Current resources on scene include 12 firefighters, two engines, and one helicopter which has been assisting with bucket work to help control the spread. Retardant was also used. See below for more air statistics. Today’s plans include continuing suppression efforts and working to contain the fire. There are no structures threatened. An emergency road closure has been signed for public and firefighter safety. Gird Road #714 is currently closed in its entirety at the junction of Skalkaho Highway #38.
Canyon Creek Fire: Lightning caused fire burning west of Hamilton in upper Canyon Creek, south of Blodgett Canyon. The fire is estimated at 17 acres and is burning on mid and upper slopes in scattered timber and rocky scree, one mile northeast of Canyon Lake. Current resources include 10 firefighters which were flown in yesterday and one helicopter which is assisting with bucket work to help control the spread. Retardant was also used. See below for more air statistics. Today’s plans include continuing to build fire line around the east and south flanks of the fire and using aircraft to check fire growth. Fire managers are also developing a strategy to confine and contain this fire while ensuring firefighter safety in steep and rocky terrain. All efforts are being made to keep the fire from moving east towards private property and homes. There are currently no structures threatened and no trail closures.
Air Statistics: The two helicopters working on the Buck Horn and Canyon Creek fires yesterday dumped approximately 44,000 gallons of water on the fires. The two large air tankers dumped more than 21,000 gallons of retardant to establish a perimeter that firefighters on the ground will now reinforce.
Additional Resources: One 20 person crew (Type 2) has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Additional crews, engines, and a heavy helicopter have also been ordered.
Other Fires: There are five additional fires on the forest that are currently staffed with firefighters. All of the fires are less than one acre. There have been 27 new lightning caused wildfires on the Bitterroot NF since Monday. Due to the quick response of crews, most of the fires were kept small.
Weather: The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for critical fire weather today with the potential of severe thunderstorms. Impacts could include frequent lightning, large hail in excess of 1” in diameter, strong winds in excess of 60+mph causing downed power lines and trees, heavy rain which could cause flash flooding, and additional wind impacts from cold frontal passage.
Safety Concerns: Safety of the public and firefighters is always a primary concern. Also, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or “Drones” are not permitted to fly in areas that have Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in place, including near wildfires.
Cooperating Agencies: Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office, Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department, Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management.
Inciweb: For more information about these fires and other fires across the country visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov