Emigrant Peak fire grows to 350 acres


BOZEMAN, Mont. - The following is a news release from the Gallatin National Forest.

"FIRE NAME:  Emigrant Fire
DATE OF DETECTION:  July 21, 2013
CAUSE:  Lightning
CURRENT SIZE:  approximately 350 acres
LOCATION:  South of Emigrant Peak, between Gold Prize Creek and North Fork Sixmile Creek
AGENCY:  Gallatin National Forest

FIRE HISTORY:  Thunderstorms that rolled through the area on Wednesday afternoon ignited a fire south of Emigrant Peak in the Paradise Valley south of Livingston, MT.  The fire is located between Gold Prize Creek and the North Fork of Sixmile Creek.  Firefighters responded to the fire at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 21st.  The fire is burning in and adjacent to the fire scar from a fire in 1999, and in thick timber with a large amount of dead and down fuels.

YESTERDAY'S ACTIVITY:  The Helena hotshot crew arrived on the fire Monday afternoon.  The 2 helicopters also arrived on the fire and helped move firefighters and gear to the new spike camp location near the fire.  Fire officials flew over the fire Monday morning and were able to get a better assessment of the fire.  The fire is backing down into the North Fork Sixmile Creek drainage and Gold Prize Creek drainage with short uphill runs toward the ridge.  Firefighters continued to report the large boulders and large ground fuels rolling down the extremely steep terrain and igniting the unburned fuel below the fire perimeter.  Attempts to construct an anchor point and fireline have been continually challenged by that rolling material.   

TODAY'S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY:  Relative humidity values only recovered to 30% overnight, and today's forecast is calling for continued warm temperatures and a minimum relative humidity in the low teens.  The high temperature is expected to reach 83 degrees in the fire area, and a low relative humidity of 11%.  Winds will be out of the west at 6-10 mph.
Firefighter and public safety are the top priority for this fire.  Fire personnel will look for opportunities to use natural barriers to confine the fire to as small an area as possible, and firefighters will be prepping those natural barriers for when the fire's edge reaches them.  This is the only safe option for firefighters on the ground at this time.  The immediate threat of the fire reaching private property is not significant at this time; however it is anticipated that the fire will continue to burn for quite some time and the influences of weather can change conditions rapidly.  Additional resources have been ordered and should arrive in the next few days.

CLOSURES & OTHER INFORMATION:  The road up Sixmile Creek from its junction with the Dailey Lake Road will be closed until further notice.  The Sixmile Creek Trial (#61) and North Fork of Sixmile Creek Trail (#606) will be closed to their junction with Trail #601 north of Monitor Peak.  Connector Trail #601 will remain open.

Homeowners in the Paradise Valley should always be prepared for unexpected events such as wildfire.  To learn how to prepare your family and your property for emergency wildfire situations, go to http://firesafemt.org."

More Stories