Update: September 18, 2012 @ 7:00 p.m..
Contact: Fire Information 406-363-3556 Paula Short 406-370-5334
FIRE NAME: Sawtooth
DATE OF DETECTION: August 30, 2012
CURRENT SIZE: 5,021 acres
LOCATION: 7 miles WSW of Hamilton, Montana
AGENCY: Bitterroot National Forest
IMT: Greg Poncin’s Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Sawtooth Fire Evening Update
COMMUNITY MEETING: An update on the fire status will be presented Thursday by fire officials at the Bedford Building located at Hamilton City Hall at 7pm. The public is encouraged to attend.
SITUATION: The fire is now 40% contained. Objectives to contain the fire on the east side along private property have been completed and the night shift of wildland engines is no longer required to patrol these areas. Stage1 Evacuation Notice/Warnings are still in effect and residents do need to continue to be prepared for changing conditions.
Today helicopters continued to fly missions of water bucket drops mostly on the northern edge of the fire to limit the spread of the fire into Barley Creek drainage. Three hand crews are camped on the northern perimeter to assist in containing the fire. Hand crews on the southern edge continued to build fireline on the bottom of Sawtooth Creek and were assisted by helicopter water drops in keeping the fire from climbing the ridge above Roaring Lion Creek.
A strong high pressure ridge will continue to build over the region this week. This will result in warm and dry conditions. These stable air conditions will aid firefighters, but smoke will continue to linger in the valley. Smoke will continue to be visible from pockets of fuel that will continue to smolder for some time. These smokes are well within the fire perimeter and pose no immediate threat to fire containment. Crews will be working on some of the largest of these areas on the eastern front to cut line around them, limiting their size to lessen smoke impacts on the community.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 347 personnel assigned, including 9 crews, 5 engines, 2 water tenders, and 4 helicopters.
EVACUATIONS & CLOSURES: The Stage 1 Evacuation Alert / Warning remains in effect. A Stage 1 Evacuation and Alert means that residents may need to keep a close eye on weather conditions and to be prepared to evacuate if conditions suddenly change. Sawtooth Creek Trail #123, Roaring Lion Trail 124, Ward Mountain Trail #208, and Canyon Creek Trail #525 are closed due to fire activity. Blodgett Campground is also closed.
For further information, go to www.inciweb.org
For updated weather, visit the NOAA website at http://www.noaa.gov/
Follow the Northern Rockies IMT on Facebook (Northern Rockies National IMT) or Twitter@Poncin IMT