Eureka Fire nears 4000 acres


ENNIS, Mont. - The following is a news release from the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Incident: Wildland fire, lightning-caused, reported on July 25, 2013

Location: 38 air miles south of Ennis, Montana

Containment: 5%

Resources: Hand Crews:  (3) Type I crews         Engines: 13    

Total personnel:  191

Heavy Equipment:  1 Dozer, 2 Water Tenders        

Air Support: (4) helicopters

Cost to Date: $500,000                                                              

Injuries: None

Fire Update:   The fire continued to be active thru the night once again and smoke drifted into the community of Ennis. The infrared flight at about 10:30 pm last night showed the fire growth mainly to the North beyond the head of Perkins Creek.  The Southern edge of the fire is on the North side of Fox Creek.

The Eureka Fire continues to show the characteristic of burning in the timbered pockets of Whitebark pine, intermixed with Subalpine Fir.  The lighter fuels are not carrying fire and the grassy areas remain fairly green for this time of year. The amount of tree mortality is high. The fire is consuming the down, dead, woody material within the timbered islands. 

Warm dry and unstable conditions are forecasted to continue for the area through Saturday night.  Humidity is expected to increase during this time, however poor overnight recoveries will be the norm.  Southwest winds with gusts to 15 mph will develop in the afternoon and evening.  The chance for a wetting rain is "0".

Additional resources that have been ordered by the fire managers arrived overnight, and more are expected throughout the day today.  11 new fires were reported in the Northern Rockies area yesterday as well as numerous large fires burning in the Eastern Great Basin.  

While the majority of those in our area were caught on initial attack, the competition for resources is beginning to become a reality.  A public meeting is scheduled for 1:00 pm this afternoon at the West Fork Camp about 30 miles South of Ennis on Highway 287.  

Closures: Elk Lake to Hidden Lake road is closed.  Trails number 6019 and 6035 to Hidden Lake are closed.  The Gravelly Mountain Range Road is closed from its junction with the Ruby River Road to its junction with the Standard Creek Road.  For the safety of the public and firefighters, please note that additional closures are being contemplated and this may change based on the fire activity.

Special Concerns:  New fire starts!

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