MISSOULA — Fire managers report that the Cinnabar Fire burning near Stevensville still sees zero percent containment.
The Cinnabar Fire saw active surface fire Friday with short uphill runs, single tree torching, burning of interior fuels and burning towards the west, which produced visible smoke in the Bitterroot Valley, Missoula and Rock Creek communities.
Ground fire made short runs with some single tree torching and most of the smoke came from pockets of heavy dead and down fuels.
Helicopters helped check the fire spread with water bucket drops. Crews on the ground worked to construct and improve indirect lines.
Resources assigned to the incident include one hotshot crew, two initial attack crews, one engine, five helicopters, and several pieces of heavy equipment.
Fire managers note that additional resources have been ordered and will arrive over the coming days.
The Cinnabar Fire continues to burn in heavy timber within the boundary of the Welcome Creek Wilderness.
Access to the area is limited and fire resources are implementing indirect suppression tactics and use of aerial resources as conditions allow.
An incoming cold front will bring strong winds to the fire area Saturday afternoon, with a Red Flag warning in effect.
Winds will be out of the west at 15 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
Fire activity is likely to increase and smoke will likely be visible in the surrounding communities.
The fire continues to burn within the Welcome Creek Wilderness boundary, on the Lolo National Forest in Granite County.
An emergency closure is in place for National Forest System lands on the Missoula Ranger District in the Lolo National Forest and the Stevensville Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest.
The closure includes the entire Welcome Creek Wilderness, and additional roads and trails adjacent to the Wilderness for public and firefighter safety.
The Rock Creek Road #102 corridor and recreation access is now closed.
There are currently 89 people battling the Cinnabar Fire which was sparked by lightning on Aug. 19.