Update: September 21, 2012 @ 8:00 a.m.
NEW PHONE # 404-363-7100
FIRE NAME: Sawtooth
DATE OF DETECTION: August 30, 2012
CURRENT SIZE: 5,479 acres
LOCATION: 7 miles WSW of Hamilton, Montana
AGENCY: Bitterroot National Forest
Sawtooth Fire is 45% Contained
Incident Management Team Transitions Today
Firefighters have contained fire lines along the eastern, northeastern and southeastern portions of the Sawtooth fire. The fire activity consists of smoldering and creeping, with areas of open surface fire and isolated torching of fuels on the west flank moving into the wilderness. The fire is now 45% contained and firefighters continue to build line in Sawtooth Creek drainage to limit any spread. Helicopters will be available to control any hotspots or flare-ups on the fire with water bucket drops.
Meteorologists predict another day of stable weather and unseasonably warm temperatures. Maximum temperature will be 78-85F, with fire activity picking up as the inversion breaks. These stable air conditions will aid firefighters, but smoke from numerous fires in the region will continue to linger in the valley.
Greg Poncin’s Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team will transfer command of the Sawtooth Fire to Roy Hall’s Incident Management Team at 6:00 p.m. tonight.
Today, several fire crews and engines will travel home for rest or move onto other wildland fires that are actively burning in other areas of the country. Fire camp, located on Westside Road, will also downsize with many of the large logistical support functions leaving the fire. The Firewise trailer located south of Hamilton on Highway 93 will no longer be staffed for information updates, but a bulletin board will remain with information posted daily.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 238 personnel assigned, including 4 crews, 4 engines, 2 water tenders, and 4 helicopters.
EVACUATIONS: The Stage 1 Evacuation Alert / Warning remains in effect. A Stage 1 Evacuation and Alert reminds residents to keep a close eye on weather conditions and be prepared to evacuate if conditions suddenly change.
CLOSURES: Sawtooth Creek Trail #123, Roaring Lion Trail #124, Ward Mountain Trail #208, and Canyon Creek Trail #525 are closed due to fire activity.
The Bitterroot National Forest has announced that the popular Blodgett Creek Trail #19 and its campground are now open. They were closed last week due to their close proximity to the Sawtooth fire. Also, the Blodgett Pass trail #310 is cleared from recent rock slides and now open to stock.
For further information, go to www.inciweb.org