Red Shale Fire Update 08/21/13
Incident: Red Shale Wildfire
Red Shale Fire Information
Wednesday Aug. 21, 2013 - 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Fire Information
(406) 466-5351 x 113
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Detected: July 18, 2013
Location: Upper Red Shale Cr. in the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Legal Location: Portions of T23N and T24N, R11W and 10W
Jurisdiction: Rocky Mountain Ranger District, Lewis and Clark National Forest
Photo of new lightning start detected by Beartop Lookout at 5p.m. on Tuesday 8/20 at the head of Rock Creek. T23N, R12W, Sec. 22.
Current size: estimated 10,593 acres
Incident Summary: The Red Shale Fire was reported by Beartop Lookout at 4:30 p.m. on July 18. The fire perimeter remains within the 1988 Gates Park Fire perimeter, predominantly between Red Shale Creek and the South Fork of Lick Creek and west of the North Fork Sun River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. On the north end, the fire is actively backing into the South Fork of Lick Creek and has crossed the Sun River at Route and Frazier Creeks. The fire continues to reduce much of the heavy downed and standing dead timber with pockets of thick, young lodgepole pines regenerating from the 1988 Gates Park Fire.
Current Activities: The estimated acreage for the fire is 10,593 including approximately 200 additional acres burned at Sun River and Route Creek confluence. Yesterday, calmer weather allowed the fire to quietly spread in the heavy downfall. The south end of the fire along mature timber remains inactive. Smoke will likely be visible from the north end. A Type 4 command structure continues for the Red Shale Fire. Fire personnel at Gates Park and Beartop Lookout are monitoring current activities. The Type 3 helicopter will complete water drops in the Route Creek area as previously planned. A new lightning start, the Rock Creek Fire, was detected at the head of Rock Creek and is estimated at 10 acres. Due to the remote location of this new start, low values at risk and existing trail closures in place for public safety, no resources will be re-directed to this fire. Two smoke monitors are in service to monitor smoke in this region: one in Augusta and the monitor at Ear Mountain has been moved to Choteau due to power issues. Reports are available on-line; please go to www.inciweb.org/incident/3550 and “Related Incident Links.”
Management Actions: Evaluation and mitigation of potential risks to the public, fire personnel, and resources remains as the top priority. Heavy downfall, abundant hazardous snags and dense young lodgepole pine stands dominate the area. A long term management plan identifying activities to slow progress and reduce intensity of the fire and provide for public safety was completed on July 24. This plan will be routinely reviewed by District Fire Managers to ensure management actions are adequately addressing concerns identified in the plan.
Restrictions and Closures: For public safety, several trails are closed in the Upper North Fork of the Sun River and along the south and north Chinese walls. All forest visitors travelling in the backcountry are urged to use caution and be observant of changes in weather and fire behavior. As of Wed. Aug. 21, there are additional trail closures for public safety. Trail closures are updated frequently. For a current detailed map, please visit inciweb.org
The following trails are closed in full length as of Aug. 21: #108 Route Creek (w/in the Wilderness boundary); #109 East Side Sun River Tr. (from Jct. w/ Tr. #165 north to jct. w/ Tr. #108); #110 North Fork Sun River Tr. (from pack bridge north to the jct. w/ Tr. #116 Open Creek.); #111 Rock Creek; # 117 Washboard Reef (w/in the Wilderness boundary); #125 Moose Ridge Lookout; #130 Red Shale, #132 Moonlight Peak; #151 North Fork Lick Creek; #157 Nesbit-Oley Creek. (w/in the Wilderness boundary); #162 Gates Creek; #163 Ray Creek Cut-off; #164 Ray Creek; #166 Gates - Moose Creek; #174 North Wall Tr. from #130 north to #132; #175 Wall trail, north of; #176 larch Hill; #187 Wrong Ridge; #188 Monroe Cutoff; #194 My Lake.