HAMILTON - The Bowles Creek Fire west of Skalkaho Pass has grown from 4,033 acres to 4,481 acres with containment growing from 5% to 10%.
Fire managers note that larger fuels are beginning to dry with more live surface fuels becoming available.
Fire activity is picking up, with flanking and group tree torching is being observed.
Additionally, overnight inversions have allowed for warmer nighttime temperatures and lower relative humidity levels, increasing the potential for increased fire growth.
There are 187 people assigned to the blaze along with seven engines and two helicopters.
The fire — which was sparked by lightning on July 20, 2023 — is burning three miles west of Skalkaho Pass in the Bowles Creek Drainage.
The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and Bitterroot National Forest have issued an emergency closure of roads and trails in the fire area.
Skalkaho Road remains but drivers should be aware of the increased traffic, slow down, and yield to fire vehicles and equipment.