More Retardant and Water Being Dropped on Observation Fire
Air tankers based in Missoula and Hamilton and helicopters at the Incident Team heliport will continue to drop water and retardant on the Bitterroot National Forest's Observation forest fire Sunday.
The July 3 morning update from Doug Turman's Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident team showed only a 2 acre change in fire size from Saturday. It has burned 1,294 acres so far. Officials expect the fire to burn into Hayes Creek. The blaze is also expected to continue to burn to the west in Lost Horse Canyon. The fire is 10 percent contained.
Strong winds were noted on the ridge top from passing storms Saturday afternoon and forecasts are for gusts up to 30 mile per hour Sunday. However, relative humidity was up to 60 percent overnight into Sunday morning, calming the fire.
Hand crews and bulldozers are continuing work on the east side of the Observation Fire and air tankers and helicopters will be working on the steep, inaccessible areas on the north end of the fire.
The Stage 1 evacuation warning remains unchanged, and the Lost Horse and Lick Creek roads are closed.
Over 400 people are on the fire, which is now burning in bug-killed subalpine fire and lodge pole pine, about 10 miles southwest of Hamilton.