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Bear Creek wildfire quickly spreads from high winds, grows to 5,000 acres

Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 20:58:36-04

DILLON - The Bear Creek wildfire burning southwest of Dillon started as a cub on Tuesday and quickly grew into a beast.

“The wind is kicking up this morning and this afternoon we’re anticipating another tough day out there,” said Forest Service Duty Officer Don Hammack.

In just 24 hours, the fire quickly spread to more than 1,500 acres. As of Wednesday evening, it had grown to about 5,000 acres, according to a Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest update.

It’s located in a very remote part of the Beaverhead National Forest about 20 miles west of Clark Canyon reservoir.

It’s a challenging fire to fight.

“Low access to it, there’s not a lot of roads in there, the fuels, heavy fuel loading and the weather just, we couldn’t fly aircraft yesterday because of the wind, it wasn’t safe for the pilots to be up there,” said Hammack.

Two planes and four helicopters were used Wednesday to dump water on the fire as well as three hotshot crews working the fire on the ground.

Fire officials expect the fire will continue to grow as weather conditions and an abundance of fuels continue to feed the flames.

"Not a lot of precip in the future, in the next seven-day outlook and the remoteness and ruggedness of the terrain it’s concerning to get firefighters up there safe,” said Hammack.

Though the fire is spreading, no occupied structures are threatened at the moment.