Wildfire Update - August 12, 2018

Contact(s): Tod McKay

What:  7 new fires

Discovered:  August 11-12th 

Location:  Bitterroot National Forest – Darby/Sula Ranger District

Summary:  Firefighters are working this afternoon on 7 new fires caused by dry lightning storms that went through the Bitterroot Valley yesterday afternoon.  Thanks to quick response by fire crews and aviation resources, all of the fires are small – less than 1 acre in size.  The fires are located on the Darby/Sula Ranger District, in the Sapphire Mountains east/northeast of Connor, MT.      

Current Size:  The largest fire (Cameron) is ¾ of an acre and is staffed with 9 firefighters.  It is currently controlled.  All other fires are .10 acre in size.       

Containment:  Five fires are currently contained or out.  Containment is expected on the others later today or tomorrow.

Resources on Fires:  There are currently 23 firefighters, and two helicopters assigned to the blazes which are being actively suppressed, under a full suppression strategy.  One medium helicopter assisted with bucket work on numerous fires to limit spread until firefighters could reach them.  Smokejumpers have been ordered and are in route to a small fire (Shadow) that is currently burning on the border of the Bitterroot & Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests.      

Lightning:  There were more than 35 confirmed lightning strikes on the southern end of the forest yesterday afternoon.  Fire crews will be on the lookout for more fires today and over the next few days due to continued hot and dry conditions.

Special Concerns:  Fire crews also responded to and extinguished two illegal campfires last night.  Reminder, we are currently in “Extreme” fire danger and under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on the forest and in Ravalli County prohibiting campfires and all other fires.  Camping stoves are allowed.  Please visit www.firerestrictions.us/mt for more information.                 

Smoke:  There are currently 52 uncontained large wildfires burning across the west which is contributing to our smoke impacts and widespread hazy skies.  For the latest air quality information and a daily Wildfire Smoke Update visit http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair.            


2018 Fire Season:  Firefighters have responded to 15 wildfires this summer on the Bitterroot National Forest. 




Key Contacts