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Sapphire Complex fire grows more active, but still holds steady - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Sapphire Complex fire grows more active, but still holds steady

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The Sapphire Compex fire is burning 25 miles east of Missoula in the Rock Creek drainage. (photo credit Mike Rogers, Sapphire Complex) The Sapphire Compex fire is burning 25 miles east of Missoula in the Rock Creek drainage. (photo credit Mike Rogers, Sapphire Complex)

ROCK CREEK - Fire managers report that although Monday was an active fire day in several locations on the Sapphire Complex fire, there was minimal fire growth.

The blaze grew slightly to over 43,700 acres and crews will work Tuesday to cool hot spots with helicopters and monitor fire activity.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wise River Community Center to discuss the blaze.


Evacuation orders and warnings

A mandatory evacuation order for approximately 35 residences along Rock Creek Road remains in effect, beginning from and including Wild Rose Loop south to Stony Creek.

Pre-evacuation orders have been lifted for the Marshall Creek subdivision, Upper Willow Creek north from the intersection of Upper Rock Creek Road and the Upper Willow Creek Road, and the Rock Creek drainage from Babcock Creek south to Bobcat Creek. 

Pre-evacuation notices remain in effect for Upper Rock Creek Road from Stony Creek south to Kyle G. Bohrnsen Memorial Bridge, including residences on the lower Cornish Gulch Road and Basin Gulch Road, and for Upper Rock Creek Road residences from Bobcat Creek south to Hogback Homestead.


Private property and structures in the Rock Creek, Upper Willow Creek, and Marshall Creek drainages remain threatened. Other resources threatened include fisheries in Rock Creek, grazing lands along the southern boundary of the Little Hogback Fire, Bonneville Power Administration powerline, and a communication site.

There are 196 people assigned to the blaze which is 59% contained.


Little Hogback Fire: 34,439 acres
The east side of the fire is in patrol status with some rehabilitation starting on the north side. Firefighters continue to secure the south-central part of the fire’s periphery where active fire remains. There is also active fire on the northwest side and structure protection along Rock Creek Road is a priority, particularly in the Idle Ranches subdivision. Structures are prepped and sprinklers are in place to protect residences. Helicopters continue water drops to help keep fire growth in check. Unburned pockets in the interior continue to burn but this fire should be in monitoring and patrol status soon.

Goat Creek Fire: 8,300 acres
Firefighters continue rehabilitation of constructed fire breaks and some heat remains in the interior.

Sliderock Fire: 900 acres
There has been no growth in the overall size of this fire; any hot spots are in the fire interior. Rehabilitation of constructed firelines will follow after this work is completed for the Goat Creek Fire. 


 

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