9/5/12 0900 Sawtooth Update
Incident: Sawtooth Fire Wildfire
Incident Management Team
DAILY INFORMATION FACT SHEET
Date: September 5, 2012 Time: 9:00 a.m.
Incident: Sawtooth Wildland Fire Information Phone: 406-459-8225
07:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Sawtooth Fire is about 7 miles west southwest of Hamilton, MT
Approximate Size: 400 acres Containment : 0%
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz, Northern Rockies Type-II Incident Management Team
Hand Crews: (2) Type II crews
Air Support: (1) Type 2 helicopter; (1) Type 3 helicopter Total personnel: 105
Injuries: None Cost to Date: $225,000
Fire Update: A Northern Rockies Incident Management Team assumed management of the Sawtooth Fire at 6:00 am on September 5, 2012. Tom Heintz is the Incident Commander. The potential for growth and spread of the fire toward the Bitterroot Valley and the many residences at the base of the mountain is recognized and is a real concern. Historically, fires in the Bitterroot Mountains near the valley have spread quickly toward the valley with the passage of cold fronts and increased winds. The Sawtooth Fire has this potential and fronts are predicted to occur in September. This team is preparing a plan to address the possible fire behavior in the near term and in the longer future that could be the reality with this fire. Local fire and law enforcement authorities are working with team in that effort.
Initial efforts are aimed at fire assessment and of the work already done by the Bitterroot National Forest and Type III team crews. The operational plan for today is to work on the north edge of the fire to maintain it south of a main ridge on Downing Mountain. Also, efforts will be taken to keep it north of Sawtooth Creek. A hose lay along the creek is planned to work the fire as it approaches downhill. Heavy helicopters will continue to drop water on the east and southeast flanks to minimize spread to the east. Assessment for contingency lines on the west face of Downing Mountain between Sawtooth and Canyon Creeks is being done.
Winds today will be from the west at 5-10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph on ridgetops. Temperatures on the fire will drop to the 60's and increased humidity into Wednesday. Winds will shift and come from the east and northeast on Wednesday. Increased winds could cause isolated and group tree torching and potential for spotting.
An information telephone line has not yet been established. When that is available the number will be published.
Special Concerns: New fire starts! Attention: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions remain in effect for this area. Information on fire restrictions can be found at http://firerestrictions.us/mt/.