Sawtooth Evening Update
Incident: Sawtooth Fire Wildfire
Update: September 20, 2012 @ 9:00 p.m.
Contact: Fire Information 406-363-3556
NEW PHONE # 404-363-7100, starting September 21, 2012
FIRE NAME: Sawtooth
DATE OF DETECTION: August 30, 2012
CURRENT SIZE: 5,479 acres
LOCATION: 7 miles WSW of Hamilton, Montana
AGENCY: Bitterroot National Forest
IMT: Greg Poncin's Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Sawtooth Fire Management Team Transitions Tomorrow
SITUATION: The Sawtooth Fire Incident Management Team from Northern Rockies Incident Commander Greg Poncin, will transition to Hall's Incident Management Team tomorrow evening at 6 pm.
Tomorrow will be a day of releasing fire crews and engines to travel home for rest or move onto other wildland fires that are actively burning in other areas of the country. Fire camp, located on Westside Road, will also downsize tomorrow with many of the large logistic support functions leaving the fire. The fire smart trailer located south of Hamilton will no longer be staffed for information updates.
Firefighters have contained fire lines along the eastern, northeastern and southeastern portions of the fire. Today's fire activity consisted of smoldering and creeping, with areas of open surface fire and isolated torching of fuels on the west flank into the wilderness.. The fire is now 45% contained. Firefighters continue to build line in Sawtooth Creek drainage to limit the spread. Helicopters will be available to control any hotspots or flare-ups on the fire.
Meteorologists predict another day of stable weather and unseasonably warm temperatures tomorrow. Maximum temperature will be 78-85F, with fire activity picking up as the inversion breaks. These stable air conditions will aid firefighters, but smoke from all the fires in the region will continue to linger in the valley. There is a forecast of wetter weather next week, according to various prediction models.
The Bitterroot National Forest has announced that the popular Blodgett Creek Trail #19 and campground are now open. 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.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 238 personnel assigned, including 4 crews, 4 engines, 2 water tenders, and 4 helicopters.
EVACUATIONS: The Stage 1 Evacuation Alert / Warning remains 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.
For further information, go to www.inciweb.org