The following is a press release from the Bitterroot National Forest:

Chrandal Creek Fire

DATE OF DETECTION: July 6, 2012

CAUSE: Lightning

CURRENT SIZE: 1,700 acres

CONTAINMENT: 0%

LOCATION: 42 miles south of Darby, MT

AGENCY: U.S. Forest Service – Bitterroot National Forest (MT) & Salmon-Challis National Forest (ID)

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: Due to high temperatures and low relative humidity yesterday, there was active fire growth. On the northern edge, the fire continued backing down towards Chrandal Creek and Road 5793. On the southeast and southwestern edges, fire behavior included torching on the Idaho/Montana divide with additional spotting into Idaho. Crews continued constructing indirect fireline on the north, west and southern edges of the fire. In addition, structures in the upper Hughes Creek area (Chrandal Creek into Hughes Creek) were assessed for protection needs and residents were contacted for a Stage 1 Evacuation Alert.
TODAY’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: High temperatures (80s) and low relative humidity (teens) are again predicted for today. These conditions will continue to produce active fire behavior and growth. There is potential for thunderstorms to move into the area Friday evening. Today’s operations will focus on implementing structure protection in the Hughes Creek drainage.

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: Seven 20-person crews, 3 helicopters, and a total of 230 personnel.

SPECIAL CONCERNS: The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain and areas of Mountain Pine Beetle infestations.

CLOSURES: Due to fire activity and to provide safety, the following trails are closed:

• Bitterroot NF: Trails #184 and #106-Divide Trail (at Montana/Idaho border). Mine Creek Road - #5688 due to heavy fire traffic. There are no structures threatened.

• Salmon-Challis NF: Sections of the following trails are closed - #106, #141, #110, #105, #213, #142. For more specific trail closure information visit www.inciweb.org.

There are no structures threatened.