Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive Helena Montana 59602
Helena, MT 59602
Saturday, September 16, 2017
The last two days have brought continuous rain and snow over the Alice Creek Fire area. Precipitation amounts totaled up to 2 inches with more forecasted through Saturday afternoon. Another low pressure system is expected to move into the area on Monday and bring more precipitation and cold temperatures.
With all the precipitation the fire has received, fire activity has been greatly reduced as moisture is soaking into the fuels. As the vegetation takes on precipitation, many days of dry and warm weather are needed for the fuels to once again burn. Weather forecasts are showing that an extended series of dry and warm days will not take place in the foreseeable future.
While fire growth is not expected, firefighters do still have work to do throughout the fire area. However, many of the access routes into the fire are dirt roads, which limit access due to muddy conditions. They will work carefully to limit resource damage on these roads. Firefighters are continuing to monitor the fire and will address any areas that may threaten containment lines. They will also continue to backhaul equipment such as water pumps, hoses and water tanks that are no longer needed.
Fire suppression repair throughout the fire area will continue once weather conditions allow. No active fire suppression is expected to be necessary on the fire over the next few days, also due to weather conditions. Firefighters and equipment that are no longer needed are being released from the fire and sent to other area fires where the need is greater.
Due to the hard work of the firefighters and recent weather conditions, command of the fire will transfer from Great Basin Team 2 back to local agencies on Monday, September 18. The Incident Command Post at Hoon Ranch will be dismantled at that time. A smaller firefighting force will still be present to continue monitoring the fire and conduct fire suppression repair as weather permits.
By order of the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff, the areas that were evacuated for the Alice Creek Fire were opened yesterday to residents only to allow them to return to their homes and cabins. These areas remain closed to the public – residents only allowed (Residences on Highway 200, Elk Meadows Subdivision, Alice Creek, and Copper Creek/Landers Fork area to include Elk Trail Loop, Heavenly Pines).
Road closures are still in effect on these roads: Alice Creek Road, Copper Creek Road at the Landers Fork Road junction, and McDonough Road. Officials are evaluating closures today. The Helena/Lewis & Clark Forest Area Closure order for the Alice Creek Fire remains in effect while Forest officials evaluate the potential for adjusting the closure area.