The following is the latest news release on the Chrandal Creek Fire.
Chrandal Creek Fire Update – July 21, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE UPDATE: July 21, 2012 7:00 a.m.
FIRE NAME: Chrandal Creek
DATE OF DETECTION: July 6, 2012 CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: 2,000 acres CONTAINMENT: 40%
LOCATION: 42 miles south of Darby, MT (32 air miles)
AGENCY: U.S. Forest Service – Bitterroot National Forest (MT) & Salmon-Challis National Forest (ID)
YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: In spite of higher winds, firefighters made progress on the northern, southern and western flanks and containment of the fire increased to 40%. Using helicopter bucket drops to support ground forces, additional fire line was constructed on the northeastern and northwestern portions of the fire. Helicopter bucket drops aided firefighters with the suppression of the southern flank of the fire along the Montana-Idaho border. The southeastern edge of the fire remained unstaffed due to steep terrain and lack of escape zones. Fire managers continued to consider options on the eastern portion of the fire while maintaining safe conditions for the firefighters.
TODAY’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: Although temperatures are expected to remain in the mid 70s with the relative humidity around 25%, weather conditions are expected to be calmer in the fire area today with less chance of thunderstorms and erratic winds. Crews will continue suppression efforts, constructing additional line on the northeastern and northwestern flanks of the fire, as well as on the southern edge. Additionally, crews will extend the existing hose line and continue to mop up hotspots. A structure protection plan is in place for the residences in the Hughes Creek, MT drainage. The fire continues to be managed for full suppression.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 351 fire personnel, including nine 20-person crews, five helicopters, three engines, two dozers, and four water tenders.
SPECIAL CONCERNS: The Stage 1 Evacuation Notification is still in effect for residents in the upper Hughes Creek, MT area (above Chrandal Creek). People remain on notification of the possibility of evacuation if fire threat becomes imminent. Thirty-seven structures are threatened in Hughes Creek, MT drainage. A structure protection plan is in place. It will be implemented in a timely manner if the need arises. The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain with standing dead timber, posing a safety risk to firefighters and a challenge for building fire line.
Bitterroot National Forest: An area closure around the fire was put into effect on July 13 due to active wildfire conditions. The closure includes Trails #184 and #106 (Divide Trail) and Mine Creek Road #5688. The Hughes Creek Road in Montana is closed to non-residents at the intersection with Highway 473 (West Fork Road).
Salmon-Challis National Forest: Sections of the following trails are closed: #106, #141, #110, #105, #213, #142. These trails access the ridgeline trail dividing Idaho and Montana, near the active fire.
For more detailed and updated fire and closure information, visit www.inciweb.org.
Air quality monitors are in use at the Painted Rocks Fire Department and North Fork Ranger Station. Current air quality information for the area can be found at www.satguard.com/usfs/fleet.aspx