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Bear Creek Fire surpasses 7,000 acres; 10 percent contained

Posted at 10:42 PM, Aug 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 00:20:52-04

DILLON — Update - Aug. 17, 2020

The Bear Creek Fire surpassed 7,000 acres burned on Monday. According to the Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team, the fire is 10 percent contained.

There are eight helicopters, two fixed-wing water scooping airplanes, eight Type 2 IA crews, three Type 1 crews, 16 engines, and 445 total personnel assigned to the fire.

The following is information from a press release sent out from the Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team:

MONDAY’S ACTIVITY: To the west, crews worked to connect line from the 515 to the Continental Divide, which will be a multi-day project with support from heavy equipment. On the northeast side of the fire, crews started burnout operations in the Bear Gulch area around 1 p.m., where winds were favorable due to topographic features. On the southeastern corner, crews were pulled off the line around 2 p.m. when the fire activity increased due to erratic and gusty winds. Fire behavior was very active, burning old timber interior to the fireline with occasional spotting. Crews reengaged the fire when conditions were deemed safe to do so. Crews are working hard to contain those spots before end of shift. Aerial resources provided water support via helicopters and scoopers. Night shift will continue to monitor the fire area tonight.

TUESDAY’S WEATHER: A Fire Weather Watch will be in effect (from 4 p.m. until midnight) for lightning and gusty winds up to 40 mph. Temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid-80s. With thunderstorms, shifting winds from the north could reach 25-30 mph. Relative humidity will be in the high teens to low twenties. The chance of wetting rain is 30%, with a 45% chance of lightning in the fire area. Wednesday is the most likely day for wetting rain and thunderstorms. Winds over the fire area are highly variable due to topographic features. Fire behavior will be dynamic, given the dynamic weather conditions.

TUESDAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: Crews in the north will continue to hold the line and mop-up from today’s completed burnout operation. To the west, crews will work to connect line from the 515 road to the Continental Divide, continuing with the multi-day project, with support from heavy equipment. Activity in other areas on the fire is dependent on fire activity and/or weather conditions overnight and into tomorrow.

Lemhi Pass Road is closed from its junction with Montana Highway 324 to Lemhi Pass. The public is strongly encouraged to refrain from entering the area/nearby road system due to heavy fire traffic.

Original article - Aug. 16, 2020

The Bear Creek Fire which is burning in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest southwest of Dillon has scorched 6,110 acres.

Despite the fire being active throughout the day, crews still managed to gain some ground on Sunday.

A total of 403 personnel are currently working on the flame and crews plan on conducting burnout operations in the Bear Gulch area on Monday.

Fire managers are reminding the public that air assets are using the Clark Canyon Reservoir for water.

Anyone recreating on the reservoir should stay alert and aware of fire aircraft in the area.