HELENA — The Deep Creek Canyon Fire is holding at 4,648 acres and is now around 75 percent contained according to the incident command team.
Smoke from smoldering stumps and logs are visible within the fire perimeter and will be for weeks and months to come.
The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1 will be releasing resources as appropriate for the size and scope of the incident. Team leaders are working closely with agency administrators and other cooperators to ensure the incident is utilizing resources efficiently, effectively and all sections are being fiscally responsible.
On Tuesday fire crews will continue mopping up and patrolling the fire line to the north and south of Highway 12. Teams are utilizing direct fire line construction tactics to reduce the potential for fire growth in the northeast. Along the south and northwestern perimeter, resources are securing constructed fire line and gridding for hot spots. Sawyers with chainsaws are removing snags, or hazard trees, near the highway and around power lines to mitigate risks to critical infrastructure.
The 35 mph maximum speed limit on Highway 12 between Townsend and White Sulphur Springs is being strictly enforced for the safety of the public, firefighter, and the utility cooperators working in the fire area. Travelers should expect delays.
Vigilante Electric Cooperative is continuing to make progress in reestablishing power in the area. However, the remaining work will be some of the more intensive operations.
“We made good progress yesterday and have 45 of the 58 structures set. Today, however, comes with at least four, possibly five poles that need to have the holes dug and poles set by hand because of the inaccessibility for equipment in the rough terrain. Progress will be slower today as this is very difficult and dangerous work. Late tomorrow or Thursday we expect to have the power restored, but we will see how today goes. I toured the site yesterday and the guys are doing a great job considering the terrain and working conditions,” said General Manager Rollie Miller in a statement.