Red Shale Fire Update Aug. 18, 2013
Incident: Red Shale Wildfire
Current Activities: The total estimated acreage for the fire is 10,393 acres. The west southwest winds are moving the fire activity north and east, burning at the top of Rabbit Butte. The south end of the fire along mature timber appears out. Expect sunny weather, with west southwest winds at 9 to 14 mph, gusts may reach 20 mph. Smoke will likely be visible from the north end. A Type 4 command continues for the Red Shale Fire. Fire personnel at Gates Park and Beartop Lookout are monitoring current activities. The Type 3 helicopter is currently stationed at the Choteau Airport to assist fire personnel if needed. Two smoke monitors are in service to monitor this region: one at Ear Mountain and one in Augusta. Reports are available on-line; please go to www.inciweb.org/incident/3550 and “Related Incident Links.”
Management Actions: Evaluation and mitigation of potential risks to the public, fire personnel, and resources remains as the top priority. Heavy downfall, abundant hazardous snags and dense young lodgepole pine stands dominate the area. A long term management plan identifying activities to slow progress, reduce intensity of the fire, and provide for public safety was completed on July 24. This plan will be routinely reviewed by District Fire Managers to ensure management actions are adequately addressing concerns identified in the plan.
Restrictions and Closures: For public safety, several trails are closed within the Sun River Game Preserve and along the Continental Divide Trail. All forest visitors travelling in the backcountry are urged to use caution and be observant of changes in weather and fire behavior. With the fire moving north & backing into the north fork of the Sun River there are additional trail closures as a caution for public safety. Trail closures are updated frequently: for the current detailed map, please visit inciweb.org
The following trails are closed in full length as of Aug. 18: #108 Route Crk (w/in the Wilderness boundary); #109 East Side Sun River Tr. (from Jct. w/ Tr. #165); north to jct. w/ Tr. #108); #110 North Fork Sun River Tr. ( from pack bridge north to the jct. w/ Open Crk. Tr. #116; Rock Creek #111; # 117 Washboard Reef (w/in the Wilderness boundary); Moose Ridge Lookout #125; Red Shale #130, Moonlight Peak #132, North Fork Lick Crk. #151, #157 Nesbit-Oley Crk. (w/in the Wilderness boundary), Gates Crk. #162; Ray Crk. Cut-off #163; Ray Crk. #164; Gates - Moose Creek #166; # 174 North Wall Tr. (south of Tr. #132); #187 Wrong Ridge; #188 Monroe Cutoff; Tr. # 175/194 north of the Moose Crk. Tr. #131 Junction is open for travel but closed to all camping.