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Bear Creek Fire At 70% Containment

Current as of 8/25/2020, 6:58:22 AM

Size 11,236 Acres

Percent of Perimeter Contained 70%

Estimated Containment Date Wednesday September 30th, 2020 approx. 12:00 PM

The Type 2 IMT (Northern Rockies Team 5) assumed command of the fire on August 13th. Resources assigned to the fire include seven helicopters, six Type 2 IA crews, two Type 1 crews, 9 engines, and 405 total personnel.   

Today, crews on the northwest corner held the line where they completed burnout operations, cleaning up residual heat and gridding for hot spots through the green, unburned areas. Crews extended the burned line to the south along the Continental Divide. Crews, assisted by helicopter bucket drops, successfully located and put out several spot fires of up to 5 acres in the area. Heavy fuels continued to burn in the area, with active fire behavior also present on the northern flank, interior to the line, and along the edge of the southwest side of the fire. Along the 3903 road, on the northern flank, crews patrolled the line, reinforcing and securing areas with residual heat. Suppression repair along the constructed fireline was the main focus on the eastern and southern sections, with fire personnel working alongside resource advisors to implement the rehabilitation plan. 

Rain showers are expected tonight and tomorrow, with a 25% chance of wetting rain greater than 1/10 of an inch. There is a 30% chance of lightning hitting the fire area. Temperatures are expected in the mid-70s, with relative humidity in the mid-20s. Stormy weather will bring erratic outflow winds from the southwest/west, with gusts expected up to 30-40 mph. Active fire behavior is expected in the Bear Creek drainage, where the winds align with the topography. Winds over the fire area are highly variable due to topographic features and the proximity to the Continental Divide. The extended forecast calls for a return to dry, cool weather with a possibility of snow in the mountains early next week.

Tomorrow, crews will continue to check the areas where the burn-out pushed over the fire line on the northwest side of the fire today, gridding for hot spots and suppressing any residual heat. Suppression repair will continue along the constructed fireline on the eastern and southern sections. Crews to the north will also begin suppression repair.

Public and firefighter safety concerns are the top priority. Any public using the roads near the fire area should expect heavy fire traffic; please drive slowly for safety reasons. Hunters should check Inciweb and/or call for closure information and maps.

The fire is burning in timber/heavy fuels. These fuels will continue to dry out with low relative humidity. The area provides poor access and there is a lack of water in the immediate area of the fire. Crews will work to protect cultural and natural resources and other values at risk.

Area, road, and trail closures are in effect. Refer to the “Closures” and “Photos” tabs of the Inciweb site for narrative descriptions and maps of all agency closures. Lemhi Pass Road is closed from its junction with Montana Highway 324 to Lemhi Pass. The public is strongly encouraged to refrain from entering the area/nearby road system due to heavy fire traffic. There are no official evacuation orders associated with the fire.

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