The following is the August 26 evening update from the DNRC:
Current size: 10,892 acres Containment: 60%
Fire Resources: 794 personnel; 13 Crews; 8 helicopters; 50 engines; 5 dozers; 26 water tenders
Fire Activity: Predicted afternoon thunderstorms never materialized as most storms moved east of the Bitterroot Valley. Dry air continued to move into the area as a southwestern flow continues to dominate the weather pattern. But it was a very good day for firefighters on the lines as they pushed from both east and west on the north side of the fire. They were able to build dozer line down the east slope above Woodman Creek and, from the west, to the ridge east above Camp Creek. They were supported by helicopters operating continuously from portable dip tanks at Elk Meadows and the gravel pit near Traveler’s Rest State Park.
The BPA power line, one mile south of Blue Mountain, remains threatened by the fire, as well as the Blue Mountain Lookout tower and the observatory. Structure protection wrapping with heat-resistant material has begun this afternoon on the roof of the observatory and the lookout tower.
The south side, west and east flanks of the fire are now in full mop-up and patrol status. Most equipment staged at the Woodman School was removed today and night operations will be discontinued after midnight tonight. However, the evacuation warning still remains in effect for all residents along U.S. Highway 12 and Lolo that were previously under a warning or evacuation notice.
The National Forest area closure on the north side of Highway 12 remains the same, but it has been reduced in size on the south side of the highway. All National Forest campgrounds along Highway 12 between Lolo Pass and Lolo, Montana are closed to entry. To view the most current closure order and map, go to www.inciweb.org .
Travelers on U.S. Highway 12, which is now open, are limited to 45 mph from milepost 20 to 32, with no stopping or parking alongside the highway until further notice. Motorists should drive with their lights on, and be aware of heavy smoke in the morning until the inversion lifts each day.
There will be a fire information meeting tomorrow night, August 27th, at 8 pm at the Lolo Elementary School lower auditorium gymnasium.
Prevention Message: All federal, state, and private lands in West Central Montana are in Stage 1 fire restrictions. For further fire information, visit www.inciweb.org. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list for fire updates.