Bitterroot Fire Danger Remains “Very High”
The wildfire smoke has let up in western Montana, but rain from the past weekend's weather system was only scattered, according to Bitterroot National Forest officials. Less than a tenth of an inch fell in the West Fork Ranger District at the south end of the valley and maybe as much as a half inch of rain was recorded in portions of the Sapphire Mountains at the north end of the Bitterroot. Dry conditions continue and Fire Management Officer Mark Wilson said the only active fire in the valley at this time is the small 12 Mile fire in rugged terrain up the Lost Horse Canyon southwest of Hamilton. It is still smoldering, but could grow with the predicted hot weather and wind this week. Of course, rain is predicted by Thursday, and that may help, but it's not enough to ease the "open burning" ban throughout Ravalli County. Only campfires and cooking fires are allowed until the ban is relaxed by the Ravalli County Commissioners. Emergency Coordinator Eric Hoover told the board that the ban is still place this week. As the weather gets colder, you're going to have warming fires at your campsite. Make Sure they are completely out when you leave your campsite.
Nearby, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest reported two fires in the Powell Ranger District have grown over the weekend. The Beaver Fire is now 2,992 acres and the Marion Fire is 1,520 acres, as of Sunday. The Sissler Fire near Elk City, Idaho, is at 12,000 acres and the 30-acre Fawn Lake Fire is six miles west of Dixie, Idaho.