19 Mile Fire Update 0901 8 Pm
Incident: 19 Mile Wildfire
Issue date: September 1, 2012 Start Date: August 28, 2012
New Fire Information Phone Number's: 1-877-608-0026, 1-877-608-0120, 1-877-608-0020
Cause: Unconfirmed, under investigation
Location: 10 miles south east of Butte, MT
Current Size 4,141 acres Containment: 64%
Resources Assigned: 9-twenty person crews, 34 engines, 3 helicopters, 2 air tankers, 451 total personnel.
Closures: BLM has closed OHV trail/connector routes #24, 25, 26 from Whiskey Gulch Trailhead to a point just north of I-90, located T2N R6W, sections 23-26 and 35. The Forest Service has closed Rader Creek/Moose Creek Road #240 from Homestake Pass T2N R7W, Section 13 to Highway 2, T1N R6W Section 16. Fire officials are asking the public to avoid using Highway 2 between Butte and Whitehall to provide for the safety of firefighters and the public. Recreationists expecting to ride in the Pipestone OHV area north of I-90 over Labor Day weekend are asked to make alternative plans in case of a closure due to fire activity.
Current Status: Crews worked on handlines along most of the fire's edge while engines continued to provide structure point protection; sufficient fireline has been constructed allowing crews to move into mop-up mode. Work on the northern perimeter of the fire was limited by difficult terrain and limited access, scouting for future protection efforts is ongoing. Containment line was completed around the southern half of the fire's perimeter. Saturday's fire behavior saw minimal activity with the fire creeping along the ground and smoldering in areas with limited single tree torching. Burning also occurred in green island pockets within the interior.
Evacuation orders potentially will be lifted for all zones at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 pending fire behavior which will be confirmed by Fire Operations and Jefferson County Sheriff by 7:30 a.m.
Planned Actions: Fire personnel will continue to protect structures as first priority, securing the areas within the unburned islands of fuels surrounding the remaining structures, scout and construct fireline through all divisions. These operations will occur 24 hours a day. Additionally, 100% mop up procedures within 100' from structures is being implemented. Resources are limited, but as additional incoming resources arrive they will be assigned and begin constructing fireline and securing the fire's perimeter.
Community Meeting: Friday, August 31 at 6:00 p.m. community meetings began and will be held every evening in the Whitehall Community Center, 11 N. Division St. All landowners, evacuees and interested individuals are invited to attend. The meetings will be broadcast live from the local cable network channel 49.1.
Weather: There is a Red Flag Warning over the fire from 11:00am to 9:00pm because of gusty winds up to 35 mph and low humidity. Tonight's temperature will be as high as 75 degrees with higher elevations being slightly cooler.
Remarks: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has confirmed 14 primary residences and an undetermined number of additional structures have been lost, along with a camp trailer, a semi-trailer and numerous cars, trucks and ATV's. The team is working closely with local officials to determine any additional structure losses, the type, location and notification.
The information post at Whitehall Ambulance Barn will be staffed from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday. This will be the final day for staffing this facility. Fire information officers will remain available at the numbers listed above.
Cooperating Agencies: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Butte BLM, Jefferson County, local and rural volunteer fire departments, MT DNRC.
The fire is listed on Inciweb: http://www.inciweb.org/