Fire Line Construction Pace Increases Ahead of Predicted Conditions
Incident: Millie Fire Wildfire
Bozeman, MT - Pete Goetzinger, Operations Chief, told Millie Fire crews at this morning's 6 a.m. briefing: "Once again, we're taking advantage of today's weather - as we have over the last couple of days - we're able to get firefighters into some of the steep, rugged country on the north and east parts of the fire. We know this fire is soon going to see lower humidity, much stronger winds and warmer temps ... we've been doing our best to prep our firelines, especially on the lines protecting Bear, and Cottonwood Canyons."
Today firefighters will be cooling hotspots and continuing constructing new line and reinforcing existing line on the steep and difficult eastern and northern edges of the fire. Their work has paid off with the Millie Fire, now estimated at 10,205 acres and 35 percent contained.
Two heavy helicopters will continue to do water drops as needed and the lighter ships will support crews by hauling equipment and supplies. One additional heavy helicopter may be temporarily available for part of the day.
While many Gallatin National Forest users are anxious to get back into the forest, closures need to remain in effect for several reasons. Roads and trails within the fire area are being heavily used by fire vehicles and crews, making them unsafe for the public. Although very little smoke was observed over the past few days, fire remains active in many areas, creating unsafe conditions for the public. The predicted weather poses the very real possibility of increased fire activity.
Critical fire weather will occur Sunday through Tuesday. Strong southwest winds, temperatures much above normal, and low relative humidity will cause fire activity to pick up. Today the weather forecast shows clear, sunny skies and drier humidity. The temperature will be between 68-72 degrees.
There are 500 personnel assigned to the incident. Resources include four helicopters, 13 crews, 12 engines, eight dozers and one water tender.
Motorists are again reminded of increased fire traffic along U.S. Highway 191 and to use caution around the fire area this weekend.
Additional Fire Information meetings have yet to be determined. For more information, please call 877-405-0033 or 877-390-4323.