Posted: Jul 9, 2012 1:38 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
Updated: Jul 9, 2012 2:00 PM
HAMILTON- Bitterroot National Forest officials report that the lightning sparked Chrandal Creek fire has now grown to 90 acres as crews brace for a Red Flag Warning into Monday evening.
The blaze, which was first spotted on July 7th is burning about 10 miles southeast of Painted Rocks Reservoir in West Fork Ranger District, and is 0% contained.
Tod McKay with the Bitterroot National Forest says in a news release that about 100 people, including 80 firefighters, two helicopters dropping buckets of water on the fire, feller-buncher, excavator, skidgeon are assigned to fight the fire.
(photo courtesy inciweb.org)
The blaze continues to burn in remote, steep and rugged terrain near the Montana/Idaho border in subalpine fir and beetle killed lodgepole pine. Officials say the fire is about five miles east of last summer's Saddle Complex fire.
Firefighter are being hampered by a lack of safety zones as well as snags that will have to be felled in order to construct escape routes for fire crews according to McKay.
The Chrandal Creek fire has prompted forest officials to close trail #184 while the public is also being asked to avoid using Mine Creek Road because of heavy fire traffic in the area.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for thunderstorms into Monday evening and high temperatures this week are expected to be 10 to 20 degrees above normal with a chance for record-breaking temps and low humidities, something that will significantly increasing fire danger.