FIRE INFORMATION FACT SHEET
Date: May 16, 2013 Time: 9:30 a.m.
Incident: Sweats Complex
Detected/Reported: May 15, 2013 at about 12:30 pm
Approximate Size: 330 acres
Cause: Human-caused, under investigation
Location: Near York along Nelson Road
Crews from multiple agencies worked to suppress the multiple fire starts that were reported yesterday afternoon. The fires were actively burning in grass and ponderosa pine timber stands that had previously been killed by the mountain pine beetle. Firefighters’ on-the-ground tactics were aided by the assistance from two helicopters for water-bucket drops. Along with suppression work, firefighters will scout the area for any potential spot fires that occurred yesterday.
Sweats Complex Fires:
• Fire #1: Hunters Gulch at 100+ acres and actively burning with isolated torching
• Fire #2: Seats Gulch at about 300 acres and actively burning in the timber with some tree torching, short crown runs and spotting occurred yesterday.
• Fire #3: [Unnamed] one acre fire; contained and controlled.
• Fire #4: Kelly Gulch includes five small fires with a total acreage of 5 acres. The fires are lined and nearly contained.
• Fire #5: Cottontail Fire: about 2 acres, mopping up
The fires within the Sweats Complex received some rain overnight, which may help crews as they continue suppression efforts today. Crews will work to contain and mop-up the smaller fires today; as well as continue direct attack, where it’s safe, on the two larger fires within the Complex. Firefighters will have helicopters assisting with water-bucket drops again today.
Today’s weather forecast is for slightly cooler temperatures in the mid-to-high 60s with scattered showers early and the possibility for thunderstorms later today. Relative humidity levels at about 30-40% and northeast winds up to 10 mph. There is a 40% chance that the fires will receive wetting rain later today.
No structures are threatened at this time; and Nelson Road remains closed with an exception to residents. Smoke will remain visible for the next several days.
More information: visit Inciweb at www.inciweb.org or call Kathy Bushnell at 406-422-7164. Any questions regarding the ongoing investigation on the cause of the fires, contact the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s office.