Posted: Aug 1, 2012 6:19 AM by MTN News
The lightning-sparked Elbow Pass Fire complex has now burned approximately 8,000 acres, from Rapid Creek on the Flathead National Forest, across the Continental Divide at Observation Pass, and east to Elbow Pass on the Lewis & Clark National Forest.
Marianne Baumberger of the U.S. Forest Service says that on Tuesday the Rapid Creek Fire, which is part of the Elbow Pass Fire Complex, moved between old burned areas and around the Elbow Pass Fire to the north as well as the south.
(photo courtesy inciweb.org)
It has established itself across Straight Creek on the south end of the Elbow Pass fire and has been finding pockets of heavy fuel in between rocky areas and previously burned areas.
A Type 2 Wildfire Management Team has taken command of the Elbow Pass Fire Complex and the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Department has issued an evacuation order for the Benchmark Road corridor in case the fire continues to move toward Benchmark Road.
Lewis & Clark National Forest managers are issuing an area closure for public safety. The closure includes the upper South Fork Sun River drainage south of Benchmark, the entire Straight Creek drainage, the Petty Ford and Petty Crown areas, and the area east of the Benchmark Road to the divide with Willow Creek and North Fork Ford Creek, including Cyanide Mountain and Red Creek.