Update: September 20, 2012 @ 8:00 a.m.
Contact: Fire Information 406-363-3556
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
High Pressure Continues-Warm and Dry
SITUATION: The Sawtooth fire Incident Meteorologist predicts another of day of stable weather and unseasonably warm this afternoon. Maximum temperature will be78-85F, and smoke decreasing this afternoon, with fire activity picking up as the inversion breaks. These stable air conditions will aid firefighters, but smoke from all the fires in the region will continue to linger in the valley. There is some hint of a change early next week but conditions in the short term will continue to be warm and dry.
Most of the fire activity continues to be on the western side of the fire into the wilderness. Firefighters continue to build line in Sawtooth Creek drainage to limit the spread. Helicopters will be available to control any hotspots or flare-ups on the fire. Firefighters will continue pulling hose and equipment, bringing it back to fire camp for cleaning and repacking, to make it available to other incidents. Similarly, crews are being demobilized, rested, reequipped and will be available for reassignment. .
Poncin’s Incident Management Team will transition to Hall’s Incident Management on Friday evening at 2000.
There is a community meeting scheduled for 7:00 pm tonight at the Bedford Building located at the Hamilton City Hall. Fire officials will present an update on the fire status.
The Bitterroot National Forest has announced that the popular Blodgett Creek Trail #19 and 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 now open to stock. The trail was closed in 2010 following a massive rockslide that blocked the trail near the top of the pass. Since the slide, the trail has been impassable to stock, and dangerous for hikers to navigate. The slide, cleared by Montana Conservation Corps crews, was located 11 miles from the Blodgett Creek Trailhead.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 309 personnel assigned, including 7 crews, 4 engines, 2 water tenders, and 4 helicopters.
EVACUATIONS: The Stage 1 Evacuation Alert / Warning is 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.
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