Summary: Firefighters will continue to aggressively and safely fight the Observation Fire located 10 miles southwest of Hamilton. Steep rugged terrain, high winds and record breaking temperatures are a challenge to firefighters. Yesterday, while firefighters were fighting the fire, extreme unexpected fire behavior late afternoon forced firefighters to disengage from where they were working because of extreme fire conditions late afternoon. Due to increased complexity of the fire – helicopters, retardant planes, additional personnel, spread of fire, and continued hot dry weather - a Type 1 fire team from the Northern Rockies, Doug Turman Incident Commander, will take over the fire Friday morning. Yesterday, the fire made a significant run to the north going over the ridge. Today, the priority is to secure the southern edge of the fire to keep it north of the Lost Horse Road and assess the north and north east section of the fire and continue securing the line.
Current size: 631 acres
Resources on Fires: 129 firefighters, 5 helicopters, 3 engines, Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office, Hamilton and Darby rural fire departments
Weather: Increased warming trend, above normal temperatures, isolated thunderstorms this afternoon and evening with gusty winds and lightning.
Fire Danger: Fire danger elevated to HIGH this morning. Local officials from local fire departments, Forest Service, Ravalli County, and Sheriff’s office will meet tomorrow to discuss further fire restrictions.
Fire Restrictions: Currently the Bitterroot National Forest is not under any fire restriction. To stay current on fire restrictions, visit http://firerestrictions.us/.
Closures: Area closure is still in effect for the Lost Horse drainage from the junction of Lost Horse Creek Road and Lick Creek Road west to the Idaho-Montana border, including Twin Lakes, Schumaker Campground and Bear Creek Pass Trailhead. A new closure will be in effect from Lake Como north to Camas Creek. LAKE COMO IS OPEN.
Special Concerns: Firefighter and public safety is the priority. Forest, County, Local, and State officials caution the public to be careful with fireworks. Fire danger in the Bitterroot Valley is now HIGH. Remember that fireworks are not permitted on National Forests.