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Wind, rain misses Eureka Fire south of Ennis

Published On: Aug 22 2013 08:57:59 AM MDT
Eureka Fire 8-20


ENNIS, Mont. -

The following is a news release 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: 6,152 acres     Containment: 25 percent
Resources:     Hand Crews: three Type 1 crews, two Type 2 crews, two camp crews    Total Personnel: 319
Engines: 27    Heavy Equipment: 1 dozer, 6 skidgines, 11 water tenders Air Support: 4 helicopters   
Cost to Date: $2.7 million        Injuries: None                                   

Public Meeting: Today at 6:00 p.m. at the Upper Canyon Outfitters/Tate Ranch, 24 miles south of Alder on the Upper Ruby Road. The Incident Management Team, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest representatives, and local cooperators will present information on the fire’s status and behavior and the suppression effort.

Fire Update: The valley had isolated showers and wind last evening, but the fire area did not receive any rain. It also did not have the winds that the valley had, and that, combined with higher humidity, resulted in the fire not being very active yesterday and through the night. Firefighters are meeting the objectives set for the fire; the fire remains within the contingency line, and the grass between the timber stands is still not burning. However, the grass is beginning to show signs of drying and curing, which will change the tactics firefighters use to ensure a solid containment. Firefighters are carefully monitoring the fire’s perimeter, including the grassy areas, to look for hot spots and any spotting outside of the perimeter. If they observe any activity, they will take full suppression actions.

Crews started a burnout operation to remove fuels on the northwest side of the fire but halted when weather became unfavorable to hold more than what had been done. The fire burned part of the desired area and remained within the contingency line. If weather conditions are favorable this morning, they will attempt to burn the rest.

Chances of thunderstorms and associated lightning, gusty winds, and rain will increase over the next few days. The fire area might receive wetting rain (1/10 inch or more) on Friday. Because of the storms, a fire weather watch has been issued for Thursday and Friday for the fire area. Temperatures and humidity will increase today.

The Madison County Commissioners issued a Wildfire Emergency Declaration yesterday, which authorizes the sheriff to issue evacuation alerts or warnings and order the evacuation of residents if they’re threatened by wildfires. The Madison Valley Volunteer Fire and Rescue

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 Fire area. A detailed description of the closure order is available here: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3637/20315/