Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive Helena Montana 59602
Helena, MT 59602
As predicted, rain moved into the Alice Creek fire area last evening. The entire fire area received up to ¼ inch of precipitation overnight; the heaviest rain is expected this evening and on into Friday morning, with up to ¾ of an inch predicted. This widespread system is expected to last through Saturday. After a brief respite from the rain on Sunday, another large system is forecast for Monday and Tuesday. Snow is possible above 6,000 feet today, reaching lower elevations tonight.
The fire was active yesterday in Telephone Gulch above Elk Meadows/Evergreen subdivision due to dry and windy conditions. Crews responded to multiple spot fires in Bear Canyon and Telephone Gulch. On Table Mountain Ridge, fire personnel placed water bars near existing dozer lines. This was a key management strategy to help prevent erosion during the extended rain that will cover the area over the next few days.
Fire behavior is expected to be minimal today due to the weather. Sheltered areas such as under tree canopies may still hold heat. Fire operations will focus on monitoring the fire area, addressing any active fire that could threaten the established fire line or structures.
Firefighters will work carefully to limit resource damage on muddy roads and trails and restrict driving off roads when possible. Though four helicopters are still assigned to the fire, air operations may not be used due to poor visibility and low cloud cover. Firefighter safety is being emphasized as slippery roads, fog, poor visibility, and possibly snow are all expected today.
The temporary 35 mph speed limit along portions of Highway 200 and Highway 434 is still in effect to ensure the safety of fire crews and motorists in the area. Compliance with the temporary speed restrictions will be especially important with the changing weather conditions. Drivers are asked to travel cautiously in these areas as fire equipment and personnel will continue to be traveling on or working near the roadway.