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Spot fires push Eureka Fire to more than 6,600 acres

Published On: Aug 20 2013 10:45:40 AM MDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 09:52:34 PM MDT
Eureka Fire viewed from Dillon

Christine Mallon Hansen

EUREKA, Mont. -

The following fact sheet comes from the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Incident: lightning-caused wildland fire, reported on August 12, 2013
Location: 38 air miles south of Ennis, Montana
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz

Approximate Size: 6,600 acres Containment: 25 percent
Resources: Hand Crews: three Type 1 crews, two Type 2 crews, two camp crews Total Personnel: 321
Engines: 29 Heavy Equipment: 1 dozer, 4 skidgines, 11 water tenders Air Support: 4 helicopters
Cost to Date: $2.4 million Injuries: None

Public Meeting: There will be a public meeting on Wednesday, August 21, at 7:00 p.m. at the West Fork Cabin Camp, which is about 35 miles south of Ennis on Highway 287 along the Madison River. Incident personnel and local cooperators will update the public on the fire’s status and behavior and the suppression effort. They will answer questions and address concerns.

Fire Update: Crews patrolled and monitored the western, southern, and eastern sides of the fire looking for hot spots and spotting over the line. They found very little but will continue to carefully monitor into the evening. Firefighters successfully aerially ignited and burned out several stands of timber about a mile north of the fire near Black Butte this morning. Much of the acreage increase today is due to that burnout operation. The fire did not exhibit a lot of extreme fire behavior today; it continues to leapfrog over the grass into the timber stands. Long-range spotting remains possible with this fire.

There is an engine at the Black Butte cabin, and tomorrow crews will assess it for structure protection needs. Crews will continue to monitor the fire perimeter and grassy meadows, looking for hot spots and spotting over the line. Firefighters will also be looking in the Cottonwood Creek drainage for contingency lines should the fire continue its northern progression. The weather tomorrow will be cooler and slightly more humid with temperatures in the mid-70s and a 20 percent relative humidity. Southwest winds will be 10–15 mph with occasional 25-mph gusts.

Closures: For the protection of public health and safety, an area closure is in place in the vicinity of the Eureka Fire. All roads and trails within the closure area are closed to the public. The closure essentially covers all access routes to and through the Eureka Basin fire area.