Morning Update - September 9
Incident: Sawtooth Fire Wildfire
Incident Management Team
DAILY INFORMATION FACT SHEET
Date: September 9, 2012 Time: 8:00 a.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 focus for today is of course on the predicted weather and how to respond to any fire movement caused by the high winds. New resources, engines, crews, and local volunteer fire department assets have been brought in as a part of the plan to react to erratic fire behavior. For now, the planning and coordination is done and it is a waiting game for a few hours. The incident command post located on Westside road will serve as the staging area for these resources.
The sprinkler system and hose lay in the bottom of Sawtooth Creek is in place and ready to activate. Helicopters will be used to patrol the fire and direct the use of any water or retardant drops. If high winds do arrive, air support will become limited.
The construction of the contingency line to the west of Hamilton and the developed Wildland-Urban Interface will continue and should be completed by noon today. Heavy equipment and hand crews are being utilized as appropriate in that work. The line is there to strengthen protection of the infrastructure in the event the fire comes out of 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. Local fire officials from valley Volunteer Fire Departments, Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, American Red Cross, and others are staged with the team or prepared to take whatever action is determined to be needed.
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 15-25 mph with gusts of 35 mph on ridgetops. Humidity will be as low as 15-25%. This could cause increased fire activity with torching and spotting outside of the fire perimeter. Isolated to widely scattered thunderstorms with gusty outflow winds may occur with limited, if any, rain. Winds will diminish after nightfall.
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/.