The Incident Meteorologist predicts favorable weather for suppression work will continue through tomorrow, but a change in conditions making firefighting more difficult is ahead.
The National Weather Bureau has posted a Red Flag Warning for portions of Montana including the Millie Fire from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday. This means an increase in temperature, decrease in humidity and strong gusty winds.
The major emphasis today was the northeast corner of the fire, in the head of South Cottonwood Creek. Hand crews dug containment line on the west aspect of the ridge above the canyon, while helicopters repeatedly doused the extremely steep and rugged east aspect.
While many Gallatin National Forest users are anxious to get back into the forest, closures remain in effect for several reasons. Roads and trails within the fire area are being heavily used by fire traffic, making them unsafe for the motoring public. Although very little smoke was observed over the past few days, fire remains very active in many areas, creating unsafe conditions for the public. Predicted weather poses the very real possibility of increased activity.
The Hyalite Canyon and Cottonwood Canyon structure groups continued structure protection activities and assessment of future needs in their respective areas.
A Sky Crane helicopter borrowed from another fire assisted two other large helicopters with bucket drops on active areas. Two smaller helicopters supported establishment of remote automated weather stations (RAWS), reconnaissance, and shuttling personnel and supplies.
Today there are 13 crews, 12 engines, four helicopters, eight dozers and one water tender working on the fire. A total of 500 personnel are assigned to the incident.
Additional fire Information meetings may be scheduled if the need arises. For more information, please call (877)405-0033 or (877)390-4323.
Motorists are reminded to be vigilant for fire traffic along U. S. Highway 191 and throughout the general vicinity of the fire during the busy upcoming weekend.