Smokejumpers, ground crews reach Kelly Fire


MISSOULA, Mont. - The following is a press release from the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest:

The Kelly Fire is 20 acres and is located on steep inaccessible terrain in bug infested lodgepole pine. Current weather conditions are causing the Kelly Creek Fire to spread and expand into the Toland Creek drainage. Kelly Creek is a tributary to Pettengill Creek.  The number one priority of this fire is to provide for the safety of the firefighters and public.

Today, fire managers plan to utilize smoke jumpers and firefighters to begin building fireline. Helicopters will continue to conduct water drops to help cool the fire and keep it from advancing to the east where the popular Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway and private lands are located. Fire Engine crews will begin to assess structures and natural resources and provide support to suppress any new fires in the area.

A Stage 1 Pre Evacuation Notice has been issued by Beaverhead County to notify residents and the public within the Byway corridor from Pattengail Creek to Lacey Creek.

Current Fire Information will be posted at the Wise River Community Center parking lot, and at the Ranger Stations in Wisdom and Wise River. 

A Type 3 Incident Management Team under the direction of Rodney Weeks is now managing this fire.  The Incident Command Post will initially be located at the Wise River Ranger Station.

With the current dry weather conditions, officials are advising people to be cautious with fire when recreating outdoors. Make sure your fire is completely out. Stay on designated roads and trails with your vehicles, and extinguish cigarettes completely.

For more information about the Kelly Fire go online to inciweb.nwcg.gov and click on Kelly.

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