Wildfire Update - July 26, 2018

Contact(s): Tod McKay

What:  Reynolds Lake Fire update and wilderness fire at Mt. George  

Location:  Bitterroot National Forest - West Fork Ranger District

Reynolds Lake:  The lightning-caused Reynolds Lake Fire did not grow in size yesterday and remains at 1,068 acres.  Containment has grown to 60%.  There are currently 113 personnel assigned to the fire including four crews, two helicopters and two engines.  Two crews were released today and have been re-assigned to the 4,000 acre Rattlesnake Creek Fire burning in Idaho.  Two engines were also released from the fire this morning.  

Planned Actions: Firefighters are continuing mop-activities today along with containing any additional spot fires. Engines are patrolling Forest Road #044 searching for additional hot spots, mopping up, and supporting hose lays.  Aircraft will be utilized as needed to moderate fire behavior and spread.  No aircraft was utilized on the fire yesterday. 

Weather:  Cooler temperatures are expected over the next several days as a weak disturbance moves through the area.  There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms across the region that could bring gusty winds, lightning, small hail and heavy rain.  Next week, a strong ridge of high pressure will move back in bringing with it a return to hot and dry conditions.  A change in wind direction will also likely carry smoke from fires in Oregon and California.  Expect hazy skies, air quality impacts, and fire activity to increase next week.  For the latest smoke and air quality information visit:  http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair   

Weekend Transition: The Reynolds Lake Fire will transition back to a local Type 4 organization on Saturday.  Local crews and engines will continue mop-up activities inside the fire’s perimeter until it is fully contained.  Smoke from fuels burning inside the main fire will be visible for the next several weeks.   

Inciweb:  For the latest information and containment on the Reynolds Lake Fire visit Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5954/

Wilderness Fire:  Smokejumpers remain on the scene of a small lightning-caused fire burning in Idaho’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  It is 1/10 acre in size and is located on Mt. George, six miles east of Paradise Campground and two miles NW of Cooper Flat.  The fire is expected to be contained later today.  A helicopter dropped buckets of water on a 2nd small fire in the same area which has now been called out.  The fires are located in extremely steep, rugged and rocky terrain.      

2018 Fire Season:  Firefighters have responded to 7 wildfires this summer on the Bitterroot National Forest.      



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