Morning Update From Sawtooth Fire 9-8-12
Incident: Sawtooth Fire Wildfire
As we reported last night, the fire growth indicated came from mostly interior burning of fuel that had remained unburned in the previous few days. There was some roll out of burning material into stringers of timber on the South side. The infrared flight of last night shows some scattered heat areas but less than previous flights have picked up. The action of rolling material, and the lofting of embers is the concern now for operations as we head into the weather forecasted for the next few days.
Today is expected to be the last day of fairly constant weather. Temperatures will be low 70's at the valley elevation and 58-63 up at the fire. We will be fairly dry with humidity in the 10-15% range. Winds are expected to be light from the west at 5 mph. Tomorrow we are warned of the possibility of thunderstorm development and the approach of another dry cold front with winds out of the west. That of course means a wind alignment with the canyons both North and South of this fire.
Operations on the fire have been successful in holding the fire on top of the ridge and work there for the hand crews has probably reached what can safely be accomplished at this point. With an eye on the weather, the personnel that once again remained on the fire last night will be flown back to the camp later this afternoon. The hose line and sprinkler system in Sawtooth Canyon are in place.
The construction of the contingency line to the west of Hamilton and the developed Wildland-Urban Interface has begun. Heavy equipment and hand crews are being utilized as appropriate in that work which will assist with protection of the infrastructure in the event the fire were to come out of the Sawtooth Canyon, or off Downing Mountain. This is a contingency action only, being used by the fire managers in preparation for what is considered as the "worst case" scenario. Residents living in the area of this work are asked to watch for firefighters and heavy equipment working and moving in the area.
The information telephone line at the ICP is 406-363-3556. An information trailer on Highway 93 at Roaring Lion Road will be staffed from noon until 7 pm each day.
Closures: Sawtooth Creek Trail #123 remains closed due to fire activity.
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/.