*ESTIMATED* SIZE: 27,000+ acres
- The Red Flag warnings for high winds materialized today, pushing the fire northeast along Highway 200. Fire was also active along the ridgetop east of Silver King Lake, Telephone Gulch and Green Mountain which produced multiple smoke columns. Firefighters estimate the fire gained an additional 2,500-3,000 acres today.
- Winds from the approaching cold front are expected to pass over the fire area tonight, starting at 9 p.m. This dry cold front may bring wind gusts that will become strongest after the storm front passes, sometime after 6a.m.
- Firefighters are again working under a thermal belt tonight. This blanket traps warm air in the valleys, keeping conditions warm and dry. With strong gusty winds forecasted overnight, engines and fire personnel working the night shift will be keeping close eyes on fire activity and will start pumps to sprinklers and take other structure protective measures if necessary.
- The fire stayed above Elk Meadows/Evergreen area today, skirting north along the ridge line, going around the subdivision. While smoke is making visibility difficult, firefighters have not discovered any new structures lost today.
- Highway 200 remained open all day; however, due to the fire in the immediate proximity, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff, working in coordination with the Montana Department of Transportation may close the highway at a moment’s notice if necessary to protect firefighters working on the Highway.
- The Montana Department of Transported have 35 mph road signs posted at mile marker 93 through mile marker 100 to slow traffic on both ends of the highway. Please obey these signs and use caution when driving on Highway 200.
- Airtankers, very large airtankers (VLAT), and water scoopers (CL-415s) dropped water and retardant today paralleling the Highway. This air force effectively supported firefighters who kept the fire from crossing the Highway.
- A dozer was able to complete containment line from the East Falls Creek ridgeline down into the East Fork Falls Creek (North of the Continental Divide). The fire moved down to this dozer line and a rock outcropping where it is now burning itself out. This is a good sign to firefighters as they now can extinguish hotspots that will make it difficult for the fire to move further north.
- The fire is roughly 42 square miles. An infrared flight used to determine fire intensity and growth may be available tonight. If it is not, firefighters will use other resources to estimate the approximate location of the fire area.
- Great Basin Team 2, Commanded by Kim Martin will take command of the fire tomorrow morning. This incident management team is expanding the existing infrastructure located at Hoon Ranch. This will be Team 2’s Incident Command Post starting Sunday. Camp crews supporting the camp at the Augusta Rodeo grounds are beginning to tear down infrastructure and are moving these equipment and supplies to the new location. Given the dynamic fire conditions still occurring tonight, fire resource are focusing on managing the fire until Great Basin Team 2 takes command in the morning.
- Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for residents between mile marker 92 and Highway 434, along Highway 200, on both sides of the road. Elk Meadows/Evergreen subdivisions are under a mandatory evacuation notice. Landers Fork, Elk Trail Park and Alice Creek community areas are under a pre-evacuation notice. There are about 90 residents effected by these notices.
- A Red Cross Shelter is on standby at the Wolf Creek Elementary School (150 Walsh St, Wolf Creek, MT). Area residents that may need assistance are encouraged to contact Red Cross at 1-800-272-6668.
- To sign up to receive emergency notification messages from the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff, register for Smart911 at https://www.smart911.com/smart911/registration/registrationLanding.action