Evening News From Sawtooth Fire
Incident: Sawtooth Fire Wildfire
Incident Management Team
DAILY INFORMATION FACT SHEET
Date: September 8, 2012 Time: 9:00 p.m.
Incident: Sawtooth Wildland Fire Information Phone: 406-363-3556
7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Sawtooth Fire is about 7 miles west southwest of Hamilton, MT
Approximate Size: 570 acres Containment : 5%
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz, Northern Rockies Type-II Incident Management Team
Resources: Hand Crews: (2) Type I crews; (3) Type II crews Equipment: (2) Dozers, (3)Water Tenders
Air Support: (1) Type 1 helicopter;(3) Type 3 helicopters. Total personnel: 186
Injuries: 3 Cost to Date: $1,276,000
Fire Update: The sprinkler system and hose lay that our crew in the bottom of Sawtooth Creek has been working on has been turned on. The personnel that have been assigned there returned to camp for this evening. The crews that have been camped on top of the fire area for the past several days were flown back to camp this afternoon as well. They completed what it was possible for them to do with suppression activities, given the extreme terrain they were dealing with. With the weather forecast and the possible logistical challenges for getting those people off the mountain, it was decided they should return late this afternoon. They were successful in completing what they were sent up to do.
Fire activity today was light. An avalanche chute on the south side of the fire did have some fire growth as hot material from above rolled down the mountain. It is estimated that the fire in this chute is about 1,000 feet above Sawtooth Creek. The fire perimeter around the northeast edge is looking really good with no smoke or heat observed. Crews and dozers were active opening and building the contingency line near the base of the mountain west of Hamilton.
The construction of the contingency line to the west of Hamilton and the developed Wildland-Urban Interface will continue and should be completed on Sunday. Heavy equipment and hand crews are being utilized as appropriate in that work. The dug line is there to strengthen 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 fire managers in preparation for what is considered 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. Additional equipment is arriving this evening to be ready to help address any fire spread that might threaten structures and infrastructure. Local fire officials from valley Volunteer Fire Departments, Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, American Red Cross, and others who would be involved in a potential fire spread met with our fire management to continue the joint planning effort.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Bitterroot Valley from noon to 9 pm on Sunday for gusty winds and low humidity. Winds will be from the southwest at 14-20 mph with gusts of 35 mph on ridgetops. This could cause increased fire activity with torching and spotting outside of the fire perimeter.
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/.