Red Shale Fire Update 8/30/2013
Incident: Red Shale Wildfire
Red Shale Fire Information
Friday Aug. 30, 2013 - 6:00 p.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, R10W and R11W
Jurisdiction: Rocky Mountain Ranger District, Lewis and Clark National Forest
Current size: 12,379 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. It is working its way up Frazier Creek and Route Creek where it crossed to the east of the North Fork Sun River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 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 Red Shale Fire is at 12,379 acres and has been moving slowly up the Route Creek drainage. The fire continues to creep and smolder in this area as well as burning out heavy fuels in the interior. A type II helicopter conducted water drops in the Route Creek area today, in order to take the heat out of this area and slow significantly the movement of the fire up this drainage. They strategically placed 11,616 gallons of water today. Gates Park received between .20 and .25 inches of rain last evening.
The lightning caused Rock Creek Fire was detected on August 20th at the head of Rock Creek (T23N, R12W, Sec. 22) and is at 372 acres. It has moved downslope in the northwest corner and up the other side of the headwaters of Rock Creek to the continental divide and across near Spotted Bear Pass. Due to the remote location of this fire, the low values at risk and existing trail closures in place for public safety, it will be monitored by fire personnel. A smoke monitor is in service in Augusta to monitor smoke conditions in the region. The monitor at the U.S. Forest Service Bunkhouse in Choteau has been taken off-line due to an equipment malfunction. For more information, 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 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. The use of helicopter water drops is one of the strategies identified in the plan. This plan is being routinely reviewed by District Fire Managers to ensure management actions are adequately addressing concerns identified.
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, additional trail closures were added 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. (pack bridge north to 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 N. Fk. 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. (south of #132); #175 Chinese Wall, (from jct. w/#131 Moose Creek. Tr. To Larch Hill Pass); #187 Wrong Ridge; #188 Monroe Cutoff; #194 My Lake.