Sawtooth Evening Fire Update
Incident: Sawtooth Fire Wildfire
FIRE NAME: Sawtooth
DATE OF DETECTION: August 30, 2012
CURRENT SIZE: 5,021 acres
LOCATION: 7 miles WSW of Hamilton, Montana
AGENCY: Bitterroot National Forest
IMT: Greg Poncin's Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Sawtooth Fire 40% Contained
SITUATION: Today, hand crews are camped on the northern perimeter to assist in containing the fire by building fireline towards Barley Creek. Hand crews on the southern edge continued to build fireline on the bottom of Sawtooth Creek. Firefighters constructed a check line around the hot spot in the interior of the fire that was visible on the face in the Owings Creek area. Helicopters have dropped 276,000 gallons of water in the past 2 days.
The fire managers are releasing resources that are in excess to the suppression needs. Incident managers are reviewing what resources are necessary for the next phase of the incident. Poncin's Incident Management Team will transition to Hall's Incident Management on Friday evening at 2000.
A strong high pressure ridge will remain over the region until Monday. This will result in continued warm and dry conditions. These stable air conditions will aid firefighters, but smoke from all the fires in the region will continue to linger in the valley.
The Bitterroot National Forest has announced that the popular Blodgett Creek Trail #19 and campground are now open to the public. They were closed last week due to their close proximity to the Sawtooth fire. Also, the Blodgett Pass trail #310 is now open to stock. The trail was closed in 2010 following a massive rockslide that blocked the trail near the top of the pass. Since the slide, the trail has been impassable to stock and difficult and dangerous for hikers to navigate. The slide, cleared by Montana Conservation Corps crews, was located 11 miles from the Blodgett Creek Trailhead.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 309 personnel assigned, including 7 crews, 4 engines, 2 water tenders, and 4 helicopters.
EVACUATIONS: The Stage 1 Evacuation Alert / Warning is in effect. A Stage 1 Evacuation and Alert reminds residents to keep a close eye on weather conditions and be prepared to evacuate if conditions suddenly change.
CLOSURES: Sawtooth Creek Trail #123, Roaring Lion Trail #124, Ward Mountain Trail #208, and Canyon Creek Trail #525 are closed due to fire activity.
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For updated weather, visit the NOAA website at http://www.noaa.gov/
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