Seventy-five fire fighters, including crews brought in from Helena and Pocatello, are assigned to guiding the blaze to the Arnica Fire area and suppress it. Yesterday the fire spread north and east; it started Sunday in an area of sub alpine fir, about two miles south of Beach Lake and seven miles west-southwest of the Bridge Bay Campground.
Winds moved the fire to the north and east on Monday, with the east flank of the fire bumping up against the west side of last year’s Arnica Fire. Three helicopters continued dumping water on hot spots along the fire line. The Helena Hotshots and the Lewis & Clark hotshots arrived in the park and hiked into the fire Monday afternoon. The two 20-person crews are camping out in the backcountry.
Two more 20-person Type 1 “hotshot” crews, two 20-person Type 2–initial attack hand crews, and three more helicopters have been ordered in to assist with firefighting efforts.
Tuesday morning, the 40 firefighters who will have camped out near the fire overnight will begin constructing control line, starting at the southwest corner of the fire, assisted by water drops from the helicopters.
It’s doubtful the weather will be helpful today. Today’s forecast calls for much of the same: lots of wind and low humidity (between 17 and 23 percent) until the late afternoon, with the usual chance of rain. The earliest forecast for any decent amount of precipitation is Wednesday evening.
So far the fire has had no impact on Park services; no facilities or roads are closed.
Here’s a time-lapse photo of the fire from yesterday late afternoon, taken from the Mount Washburn Fire Cam, courtesy of Michael O’Shea:
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