Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive Helena Montana 59602
Helena, MT 59602
Fire activity picked up yesterday afternoon in the southeast corner of the fire, north of Elk Meadows, when humidity dropped and gusty winds affected fire behavior. Resources were moved from less active portions of the fire, and, combined with good coordination with the Wolf Creek Volunteer Fire Department and local law enforcement; crews were able to keep the fire from crossing Highway 200. 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. Drivers can expect smoky conditions on the roadway. A closure of the highway may take place if fire conditions warrant.
There was increased activity yesterday in the Silver King Lake and Alice Creek area where the fire backed down ridge lines. The fire remained active through the night. Heavy equipment and engines, aided by aerial resources are strategically working to hold and reinforce the fire line due to the amount of heat detected in the area.
A Red Flag warning is in effect over the fire area again today, meaning conditions could result in very active fire behavior. Fire managers recorded poor humidity recovery overnight. Of greatest concern to fire crews today is expected wind shifts affecting fire behavior and spread. Northeast winds could throw embers outside of the main fire into unburned fuels, resulting in spot fires.
Today’s plan calls for construction of direct fire line along the east edge of the fire, northeast of Elk Meadows. However, plans are contingent upon weather conditions. New temporary radio equipment was installed yesterday on Sunset Peak to improve communications on the southern end of the fire as this remains a priority area for the incident.
Due to the complexity of the Alice Creek fire, more resources have been assigned to the incident. Additional personnel will be working on the northern end of the fire, including the East Fork of Falls Creek and Falls Creek Ridge to secure existing fire lines and watch for spotting.
A homeowners meeting will be held tonight at 7 pm at the C Bar N Mission for the residents of Dearborn Canyon.
The Montana Department of Transportation has issued a temporary 35 mph speed limit along Highway 200 in the fire area as well as along Highway 434 at the Hoon Incident Command Post to ensure the safety of fire crews and motorists in the area. Drivers are asked to travel cautiously in these areas as slow moving equipment and firefighters may be on the road at any time.
Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for residents between mile marker 92 and highway 434 – along highway 200 on both sides of the road. Elk Meadows/Evergreen subdivisions are under mandatory evacuation notices. Landers Fork, Elk Trail Park and the Alice Creek communities are under a “pre-evacuation” notice.