HAMILTON - The Bowles Creek Fire west of Skalkaho Pass is holding at 4,481 acres with containment growing from 10% to 15% as of Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023.
Fire managers caution that smoke from the Bowles Creek Fire continues to impact local communities, especially along Skalkaho Road which remains open.
Smoke from the fire settles more heavily at night, so drivers are urged to remain extra vigilant if traveling through the area after sunset.
Fire activity is continuing to pick up with flanking and group tree torching, along with spotting are being seen.
There are 196 people assigned to the blaze along with six engines and two helicopters.
The fire — which was sparked by lightning on July 20, 2023 — is burning 27 miles southwest of Philipsburg.
The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and Bitterroot National Forest have issued an emergency closure of roads and trails in the fire area.