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Bear Creek Fire Update 08/17/2020

Total Personnel on fire is at 403, with 10% containment and 6334 acres burned.

The Type 2 IMT (Northern Rockies Team 5) assumed command of the fire on August 13th. Resources assigned to the fire include eight helicopters, two fixed-wing water scooping airplanes, one Type 2 crew, five Type 2 IA crews, three Type 1 crews, 19 engines and 403 total personnel.    

Yesterday the fire was active on the northwest end in the afternoon, with a visible smoke column. Two to four-foot flames were visible in the interior of the fire. Fire behavior was mostly surface fire under the heavy timber, with backing fire in the lighter fuels. Around 3 p.m., cloud cover over the fire resulted in decreased activity. To the west, crews worked to connect line from the 515 to the Continental Divide, which will be a multi-day project with support from heavy equipment. Crews conducted fuel mitigation along the 70020 road to the Continental Divide. Night shift engines will continue to monitor the fire and burn out areas for hot spots tonight. Temperatures today are expected to be in the mid-80s. Relative humidity will be in the high teens to low twenties. Wind gusts are expected to reach 24 mph. Erratic winds are likely out of the north/northwest, with possible thunderstorms throughout the week before returning to hot and dry weather towards the end of the week.  

Today on the northeast side of the fire, crews will conduct burnout operations in the Bear Gulch area, if conditions are favorable. Crews also plan to burn from the 1883 road under favorable conditions. To the west, crews will work to connect line from the 515 to the Continental Divide. On the southwest side of the fire, crews will scout for an alternative line up to the Continental Divide to use if the fire moves past the original line. Air support will be available throughout the day, including two "scoopers."   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. 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 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.  


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