Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive Helena Montana 59602
Helena, MT 59602
Active fire behavior is taking place on the Alice Creek Fire tonight, September 11th. The fire is backing down to Highway 200 and firefighters are working to keep the fire on the west side of the Highway. Highway 200 remains open at this time, but motorists are advised to check with the Montana Department of Transportation for the latest status of the Highway. Expect smoky conditions on the roadway. A closure of the Highway may take place if fire conditions warrant.
Red Flag conditions were in effect today due to low relative humidity, high temperatures, and strong, gusty winds. These extreme conditions caused an increase in fire activity and made a busy work day for firefighters.
Active fire behavior took place today along Highway 200, where the fire made a run that burned between 200-500 acres in the Green Creek area.
On the southeastern edge of the fire, the Silver King Lake and Alice Creek areas saw active fire behavior throughout the day. There was a variety of heavy equipment and firefighters focused in these areas, including dozers, engines, and bucket drops from helicopters. The fire is expected to back down the ridge overnight where crews will monitor its movement and take action if necessary.
Fire activity in Telephone Gulch has been exceptionally hazardous for crews, as there are approximately 100 dead trees per acre. These are referred to as “snags” and can be unpredictable for firefighters to work near. Because of this, access to the fire is limited and crews will engage when and if the fire comes over the ridgeline.
Other areas of the fire in the north and northeast have been relatively quiet as crews continue to mop up. This task has been slow and steady due to a lack of personnel and the majority of resources being focused in areas of higher priority.
Tomorrow, fire activity is expected to be similar to that of today. Red Flag Warnings will be in effect as winds will persist and remain terrain dominated. Relative humidity will be slightly higher than today, but fuel moistures remain at record lows.
A temporary speed limit of 35 mph will remain along Highway 200 due to fire crews working within such close proximity to the road. There will also be a reduced speed limit along Highway 434 near the Hoon Spike Camp, where incident command is located. Please use caution when driving in these areas as slow moving equipment and fire personnel can be located anywhere along these roads.