Wildfire Update - August 18, 2018

Contact(s): Tod McKay

What:  4 new fires

Discovered:  August 17-18th  

Location:  Bitterroot National Forest – Darby/Sula and West Fork Ranger Districts

Summary:  A series of thunderstorms moved across the southern end of the Bitterroot National Forest yesterday and last night, sparking four new wildfires.  Thanks to quick response by fire crews and aviation resources, all of the fires are small – less than ½ acre in size.  All of the fires are located south of Darby on the southern end of the Forest.  

Containment:  Three fires are currently controlled or out.  The fourth is not showing any activity following bucket work yesterday by a medium helicopter.  

Resources on Fires:  9 firefighters and a medium helicopter responded to the fires which were actively suppressed, under a full suppression strategy.  The helicopter assisted with bucket work (water drops) to help control the spread.       

Lightning:  There were more than 50 confirmed lightning strikes on the southern end of the Forest yesterday.  Fire crews will be on the lookout for more fires today and over the next few days due to continued hot and dry conditions.  The storms also brought isolated precipitation.  The Tepee Point weather site east of Sula received the most rainfall (.18 inches). 

Special Concerns:  Reminder, we remain 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.

Anaconda Pintler Wilderness:  The Anaconda Pintler Wilderness east of Sula is currently under State 1 Fire Restrictions prohibiting all campfires.  Smoking is also not allowed unless in flammable free areas.  Camping stoves that can be turned on and off are allowed.     

Smoke:  There are currently 50 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 19 wildfires this summer on the Bitterroot National Forest. 



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