Sunday’s Lightning Hit Montana, Idaho
Bitterroot National Forest lookouts and fire patrols are looking for any holdover fires that might have been started by a fairly active thunderstorm Sunday on the first day of August. Mark Wilson of the forest said the small Laird Creek fire and the Whiskey Gulch fire, both in the Darby/Sula Ranger District, were out and being mopped up Tuesday. The other fire that Bitterroot fire officials are watching is the 19,300 acre Storm Creek Fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. It grew over 4,000 acres over the weekend and is now about a mile from the Montana-Idaho border, 14 miles west of Victor.
Bitterroot National Forest assisted firefighters at the 1,416 acres Boulder 2700 Fire along Flathead Lake. Wilson said a 20-person Trapper Creek Job Corps team was sent to the Polson area firelines along with air support from two single-engine tankers based at the Hamilton airport. By the way, evacuees on Finley Point south of Mahood Lane are being allowed back. They need to check in with Lake County Sheriff's officers at Highway 35 Mile Marker 2.
South of the valley, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is working to protect the Big Hole National Battlefield from the 35,000 Trail Creek Fire. They have also done fire protection on popular visitor cabins in the area. Nearby, the Christensen Fire at 7,900 acres and the 10,600 acre Alder Creek Fire are a few miles from Wise River.
The Bitterroot Valley is getting smoke from other Idaho fires, including the Dixie-Jumbo Fire south of Grangeville. The Dixie fire has been burning into the Salmon River corridor and is over 43,000 acres, as of Tuesday morning, August 3. All areas in and around the Bitterroot Valley are under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. Stay on established roads in the woods and no campfires are allowed.