Bear Creek Fire Is Spreading Smoke Around
The Bear Creek forest fire was estimated at 4,200 acres Friday morning, August 14. The lightning-caused fire on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is on the Montana-Idaho line, 30 miles east of Salmon, Idaho. A Type 2 Incident Management Team took over operations and crews are fighting the forest fire near historic Lemhi Pass. Winds are hampering firefighters. Air support includes 6 helicopters, two fixed-wing water scooping airplanes and a number of fire engines.
The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have closed areas in the vicinity of the blaze. That includes a portion of the popular Continental Divide Trail from Goldstone Pass to Bannock Pass. Other ares closed to the public include portions of Warm Springs Road and Agency Creek Road on the Salmon-Challis National Forest and all BLM lands south of Lemhi Pass Road, west of US Highway 324. Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest areas south of Lemhi Pass Road up to the Montana-Idaho line are also closed. Maps can be found on the Inciweb site online.
There is no containment of the fire as of Friday and smoke is visible over Dillon, the Big Hole Valley, the Lemhi Valley and Salmon, Idaho. There's a haze in the Bitterroot Valley, too. The public is asked to avoid the fire area due to heavy equipment traffic.