Eureka Fire Morning Update 8/20/13
Incident: Eureka Wildfire
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team
Daily Fact Sheet
Fire Information: (406) 682-4820 August 20, 2013 8 a.m.
Office hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Incident: Lightning-caused wildland fire, reported on August 12, 2013
Location: 38 air miles south of Ennis, Montana
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz
Approximate Size: 5,840 acres Containment: 20 percent
Resources: Hand Crews: three Type 1 crews, two Type 2 crews Engines: 10 Total Personnel: 271
Heavy Equipment: one dozer, four skidgens, four water tenders Air Support: 3 helicopters
Cost to Date: $1.9 million Injuries: None
Fire Update: A late night infrared flight revealed an increase in acreage to approximately 5,840 total acres. Two small spot fires once again extended the fire to the north and east, although the fire remains west of the Gravelly Range divide. Today’s plans include early morning aerial ignitions in front of the fire to remove fuels in the direction of the fire’s spread. This tactic is being used to take advantage of favorable early morning weather conditions. The intent of this tactic is to mitigate the progression of the fire that has occurred from the daily spotting activity caused by afternoon winds and higher temperatures. Helicopter water drops continue to be effective at slowing the fire growth while hand crews work hard to mop up hot spots along the entire perimeter to the east, south and west. The fire still has potential for long-range spotting, especially when afternoon winds increase. Warm dry weather is continuing to dry out the grass in the meadows and cause concern for future suppression efforts and firefighter safety.
Firefighters will also wrap the Black Butte Cabin today to provide additional protection as the fire advances in its direction. Additional equipment is due to arrive today to help out, although one of the helicopters was removed for repair last night, and the timetable for return is in question.. The weather forecast for today includes cooler temperatures, reaching highs in the low 70’s in the area of the fire with southwest winds at 10 – 15 mph and relative humidity of 17 – 19%.
The Incident Command Post is located at the Lyons Bridge, approximately 33 miles south of Ennis on Highway 287. The crews and equipment are being supported from this location, but the actual camp for the crews is located near the Eureka Basin so that they can be close to the fire.
A public meeting will be held at the West Fork Cabin Camp on Wednesday, August 21 at 7 pm. Incident Management Team personnel and cooperators will be available to discuss all aspects of this fire suppression effort, and address any questions or concerns. The West Fork Camp is located approximately 35 miles south of Ennis on Hwy. 287 along the Madison River.
Closures: An area closure, for the protection of public heath and safety, is in place in the vicinity of the Eureka Fire. All roads and trails within the closure area are closed to the public. The closure essentially covers all access routes to and through the Eureka Basin fire area. A detailed description of the closure order is available here: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3637/20315/
Special Concerns: New fire starts! Please be careful with all fire.
Attention Media: For visits to the fire area, call the information staff at (406) 682-4820.
More Information: Visit www.inciweb.org and select Eureka from the incident drop-down menu, or call (406) 682-4820.