HAMILTON - New mapping shows the lightning-sparked Hog Trough Fire burning on the Bitterroot National Forest has grown to 500 acres.
Fire managers note an Infrared flight determined that the blaze has grown by 237 acres.
The fire is burning 17 miles east of Hamilton and seven miles southwest of Skalkaho Falls.
It is in the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area (WSA) approximately five miles east of Black Bear Campground.
The blaze — which was discovered on July 17 — is burning in rugged and remote terrain in an old burn fire scar from the 2000 fires.
No structures are currently threatened. However, smoke from the Hog Trough Fire can be seen across the Bitterroot.
Fire managers are aiming to keep the fire to the south of Highway 38 and east of USFS Road 75.
A Type 1 helicopter is expected to arrive Thursday and perform water drops on the eastern edge of the fire.
Fire managers report the Hog Trough Fire is experiencing moderate fire behavior and is continuing to progress towards the east in the direction of the 2005 Signal Rock Fire and the 5071 Road.
Additionally, ground crews will be thinning along the 5071 Road to prepare it as a potential containment line.
A Type III Incident Management Team has taken over management of the Hog Trough Fire.
- Railroad Creek, National Forest System Trail #77 to Trail#313 at the gate.
- Weasel Creek, National Forest System Trail #156 from milepost 0.00 at its junction with NFSR #461.
- A section of the Chain of Lakes Trail #313, National Forest System Trail #313 where it intersects Trail #77 Railroad Creek, Weasel Creek Trail #156.
- Skalkaho Creek -Jerry Lake Trail #503, National Forest System Trail #503
Fire Danger is currently “high” on the Bitterroot National Forest.