BEAR CREEK FIRE Update 08/15/2020
CURRENT SIZE: 4,663 acres (more accurate mapping produced through overnight infrared flight)
LOCATION: Lemhi Pass area (29 miles East of Salmon Idaho)
JURISDICTION: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
COOPERATING AGENCIES: Beaverhead County (MT), Lemhi County (ID), BLM, Montana DNRC, Salmon-Challis National Forest
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: Resources assigned to the fire include eight helicopters, two fixed-wing water scooping airplanes, five Type 2 IA crew, three Type 1 crews, seven engines and 318 total personnel.
YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: On the east side, the fire continued to move along a section of the 1883 road, burning out a pocket of heavy fuels in the South Fork of Everson Creek. Crews burned from the South Fork to the North Fork of Everson Creek. The burn out went well and crews were able to hold the line. To the south, crews improved the fire line from the 1883 road to the Continental Divide, and water-scooping fixed wing aircraft (“scoopers”) and fire retardant aircraft reinforced the line. On the north end of the fire, crews held and improved existing line. Crews have not had favorable conditions to burn north of the fire and were catching fire runs throughout the day. Air tankers with retardant were ordered in the early evening to help hold the line along the 1883 road on the south flank of the fire. Air operations assisted crews on the ground by checking the fire’s movement as they progressed burning. The helibase was moved to a location south of the fire to shorten water delivery times. Night shift crews monitored burn activity and mopped up hotspots, with engines monitoring the fire and burn areas overnight.
TODAY’S WEATHER: Temperatures today are expected to be in the high 70s/low 80s. Relative humidity will remain in the low to mid-teens. Winds are expected to be low with wind gusts up to 15mph. A slight chance of thunderstorms exists for tomorrow and thunderstorms and lightning are likely early in the week.
TODAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: On the west side, crews will continue to scout locations to tie in line from the Frying Pan drainage to the Continental Divide. The north side of the fire is holding heat on the edge of the fireline and crews will continue to improve the line. The east and south sides of the fire are holding heat with 2-3 foot flames and active fire behavior is expected in those areas. To the south, crews will continue to burn from the 6869 road today if conditions are favorable. Night shift will continue to monitor burn out areas tonight. Spotting may occur up to 0.4 miles from the burn area. Air support will be available throughout the day, including two "scoopers."
SPECIAL CONCERNS: Those recreating on Clark Canyon reservoir should be aware of aircraft using the water source for fire activity. Recreators should stay clear of area aircraft. Public and firefighter safety concerns are the top priority. 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 resources on the east side of the fire.
CLOSURES: BLM closure maps can be found here and their closure order can be found here.B-D Forest Service lands closures can be found here. Salmon-Challis National Forest map of closures and closure order can be found here.Continental Divide Trail (CDT) closure information can be found here. The public is strongly encouraged to refrain from entering the area/nearby road system due to heavy fire traffic.
Be Aware and Stay Clear Bear Creek Fire Wildfire
Fire aircraft are using Clark Canyon Reservoir as a water source. Recreationists are asked to please maintain distance from areas that are being utilized.