Posted: Jul 26, 2012 7:06 AM by Mark Thorsell - KPAX News
Updated: Jul 26, 2012 7:06 AM
DARBY- The weather in the lower Bitterroot Valley on Wednesday helped crews who are battling the 2,400 acre Chrandal Creek fire that's burning 42 miles south of Darby along toe Montana/Idaho border.
Fire officials report the blaze is now 50% contained and that an inversion caused smoke to settle and linger into the morning, while cloud cover over the fire in the early afternoon helped keep the temperature lower and relative humidity higher than expected.
Active burning continued on the west side of the fire between Skook Creek and Chrandal Creek although little fire movement was seen. Meanwhile, crews on the north and east sides of the fire continued to patrol the fire perimeter and suppress hot spots. The southeastern corner of the fire continued to have some interior torching with fire managers saying that crews worked with air support to reduce fire spread in this area.
(photo courtesy inicweb.org)
Temperatures are expected to be a little warmer and relative humidity a little lower on Thursday and that means there may be increased fire activity, with active burning occurring on the west side of the fire.
Crews will continue to patrol and suppress hot spots along the fire perimeter and any new spot fires outside the perimeter to the north, east and south. Five Hotshot Crews will work on cutting a line along Snook Creek for access to the western side of the fire.
There are 404 fire personnel, including twelve 20-person crews, five helicopters, six engines, one dozer and seven water tenders assigned to battle the Chrandal Creek fire as the Stage 1 Evacuation Notification remains in effect for residents in the upper Hughes Creek area above Chrandal Creek.