HELENA – Thursday brought relief to weary firefighters as rain fell over the Alice Creek Fire area, with snow falling throughout the night.
The entire fire area was covered in snow as of Friday morning, according to officials, and rain and snow will continue for the next several days.
The fire was not active Thursday as the moisture soaked into the fuels. As vegetation takes on precipitation, it will take many days of dry and warm weather for the fuels to once again burn.
Weather forecasts are showing that an extended series of dry and warm days will not take place.
While the fire will not spread, firefighters still have work to do throughout the fire area. Many of the access roads into the fire are dirt and access into the fire area is very limited due to muddy conditions.
Firefighters are hunkering down for the next few days until road conditions allow them to get back into the fire area. Firefighters will work carefully to limit resource damage on muddy roads and trails and restrict driving off roads when possible.
Firefighter safety is emphasized as slippery roads, fog, poor visibility, and snow are all expected today.
By order of the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff, the areas that were evacuated for the Alice Creek Fire were opened yesterday to residents only to allow them to return to their homes and cabins.
These areas remain closed to the public, residents only allowed (Residences on Highway 200, Elk Meadows Subdivision, Alice Creek, and Copper Creek/Landers Fork area to include Elk Trail Loop, Heavenly Pines).
Road closures are still in effect on these roads: Alice Creek Road, Copper Creek Road at the Landers Fork Road junction, and McDonough Road.
Officials are evaluating closures today.
The Helena Lewis & Clark Forest Area Closure order for the Alice Creek Fire remains in effect while Forest officials evaluate the potential for adjusting the closure area.
AS OF FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15:
CONTAINMENT: 30 percent
For more updates on the Alice Creek Fire click here.
For information on all Montana fires click here.