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Bear Creek Fire nears 7,500 acres; remains 10 percent contained

Bear Creek Fire nears 7,500 acres; remains 10 percent contained
Posted at 11:11 AM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 13:11:21-04

According to Northern Rockies Wildfire Management Team, the Bear Creek Fire has grown to 7,500 acres and remains 10 percent contained.

The fire has been burning in the Lemhi Pass Area about 30 miles east of Salmon, Idaho, since Aug. 11.

Eight helicopters, eight Type 2 IA crews, three Type 1 crews, and 21 engines have been assigned to the fire. 35 crew members have been added since Aug. 17 to total 480 total personnel.

The following was sent in a press release by the Northern Rockies Wildfire Management Team:

TUESDAY’S ACTIVITY: Fire behavior was quiet today, with the most active area on the southeast corner. Residual heat is internal to the constructed lines. Crews on the north flank continued to reinforce and hold the line along their previous burnout operation. To the west, crews worked to connect line from the 515 road to the Continental Divide, continuing with the multi-day project, with support from heavy equipment. On the south flank, crews continued to improve the fuel break to the Continental Divide. Helicopters and scoopers provided aerial support. The fixed-wing “scooper” airplanes were reassigned mid-day to assist with new fires in other areas of the country. Night/swing shift will patrol the southeast side of the fire, transitioning into day shift for tomorrow’s operation. Resource advisors from multiple jurisdictions are communicating about operations on the ground and coordinating rehabilitation needs.

WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER: Thunderstorms are expected tomorrow with a 40% chance of lightning and a 50% chance of wetting rain. With thunderstorms, shifting winds from the west/northwest could reach gusts up to 25-30 mph. Winds over the fire area are highly variable due to topographic features and the proximity to the Continental Divide.

WEDNESDAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: Crews will work to improve the line on the 1883 road. To the north, crews will hold and secure line along the 6869 road. On the west side of the fire, crews will improve the fuel break to the Continental Divide. Crews will continue to work to connect line from the 515 road to the Continental Divide with support from heavy equipment. Burnout operations are not planned until conditions become more favorable. Air support will be adding a secondary heli-well near the mouth of Black Canyon.

SPECIAL CONCERNS: Those recreating on Clark Canyon Reservoir should be aware of aircraft using the water source for fire activity. Recreators should stay clear of area aircraft. Public and firefighter safety concerns are the top priority. Any public using the roads near the fire area should expect heavy fire traffic; please drive slowly for safety reasons. Hunters should check Inciweb and/or call for closure information and maps.

The fire is burning in timber/heavy fuels. These fuels will continue to dry out with low relative humidity. The area provides poor access and there is a lack of water in the immediate area of the fire. Crews will work to protect cultural and natural resources and other values at risk.

CLOSURES: Area, road, and trail closures are in effect. Refer to the “Closures” and “Photos” tabs of the Inciweb site for narrative descriptions and maps of all agency closures. Lemhi Pass Road is closed from its junction with Montana Highway 324 to Lemhi Pass. The public is strongly encouraged to refrain from entering the area/nearby road system due to heavy fire traffic.