Fire officials from the Butte Ranger District of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest say that the wildfire near Whitehall is now burning at 2,630 acres and is 32-percent contained.
The fire was caused by lightning on Aug. 25 and went undetected until Aug. 29.
The blaze is in an area difficult for firefighters to access due to rough terrain, numerous snags, and a significant amount of dead and down trees, about two miles northeast of the Whitetail Reservoir, approximately 16 miles northeast of Whitehall.
A Red Flag Warning has been issued for Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. This will produce high temperatures, low humidity, and some gusty winds. With the predicted weather the fire could become slightly more active making smoke visible from the Whitetail Road.
Crews on the fire include two Medium Helicopters, a Light Helicopter, a Water Tender, a Heavy Equipment Task Force, four Type 6 Engines, a Type 4 Engine, a 7 person Smoke Jumper Module, a 4 person Rappler Module, a 21 person Type 2 IA Crew, a 7 person IA Crew, a 18 person Type 1 Crew, a 20 person Type 2 Crew and miscellaneous overhead for a total of 175 personnel.
Public and firefighter’s safety is always the primary concern . The Forest Service (FS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued closure orders for the area around the fire including roads and trails. Smoke may be visible from Whitehall, Boulder, Butte, 1-90 and 1-15. If burnout operations are implemented, there will be a large increase in fire activity and smoke.
Closure orders have been issued by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management closing the area, including roads and trails, near the fire. For more information about this fire and other fires across the country, click here.
Photos courtesy of Inciweb