Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

Sawtooth Fire update

Date: September 12, 2012

Time:  8:00 p.m.
Incident: Sawtooth Wildland Fire

Information Phone: 406-363-3556, 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Location: Sawtooth Fire is about 3-4 miles west of downtown Hamilton, MT
Approximate Size: 4,500 acres estimated

Containment    : 20%
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz, Northern Rockies Type-II Incident Management Team
Resources: Hand Crews:  (1) Type I crews; (4) Type II crews
Equipment: (30) Engines, (5) Dozers, (10) Water Tenders
Air Support: Helicopters; (2) Type 1 ;(1) Type 2:(2) Type 3

Total personnel:  391
Injuries: 3

Cost to Date: $2,690,000
Fire Update: A re-entry provision was made by Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman this afternoon after conferring with Sawtooth I C Tom Heintz.  It is important to realize that there is still a threat to the area West of Hamilton.  We have been receiving comments that this fire has “done its thing”.  The fire and the history of fire in the Bitterroots do not support that as a fact.  There is still fire spread on both the North and South perimeters of this fire.  Please honor the fact that we remain in a Stage 1 evacuation over much of the residential area near the fire.  Stage 2 evacuation remains in place for those neighborhoods where the fire threat has closer proximity.
The Sawtooth fire is still uncontained!  As you go back in use situational awareness.
You can expect to see fire and smoke plumes.  The fire area is a dynamic environment and you will likely continue to see this until the winter finally puts it out.  Crews mop up for a few hundred feet of the primary routes, lines and structures.  Creeping and smoldering fire will be present beyond that.  There continues to be a lot of work to be done and there will be firefighters around structures and on the roads for several days and nights.  Please let firefighters do their assigned work.  Expect to see additional law enforcement patrol.
Please do not enter the fire area.  There are hazards present such as hazardous trees or root systems damaged by the fire, rolling rocks, and active fire.  Hazard trees will continue to come down through out the fall, especially during windy days.  Limbs and snags may fall also.  Stump holes will also be present. Rolling rocks and slides can also be hazardous.
The fire has reached near the top of the rocky ridge behind Goat Mtn.  It is expected to be visible again tonight after dark and may be active throughout the burn area.  Crews did get the mop up work going in to 100 feet within the perimeter and the majority of the east flank is looking fairly cool.
Aircraft visibility has been a problem all day because of the smoke.  One heavy helicopter worked the fire in Sawtooth creek, but only one could work at a time safely because of obscured visibility.
The night shift will again patrol the perimeter looking for heat or fire threatening the suppression lines.
A type 1 Incident Management Team has begun to arrive at the ICP to assume management of this fire.  The transition of the incident management is projected to occur tomorrow, after a day of shadowing with this team.  Management of the fire will actually change at 6:00 a.m. on Friday.  The incoming team is a Northern Rockies IMT, like ours, with Greg Poncin as the Incident Commander.
An information trailer on Highway 93 at Roaring Lion Road will be staffed as needed each day while this fire is active.  Over 200 residents attended the community meeting last night in Hamilton.
Closures:  Sawtooth Creek Trail #123, Roaring Lion Trail #124, and Canyon Creek Trail #525, and Blodgett camp ground are closed due to fire activity.
Special Concerns:  New fire starts!  Attention: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions remain in effect for this area. Information on fire restrictions can be found at
More Information: Visit Inciweb at, email or call fire information 406-363-3556. Ravalli County EOC has established a recorded phone line with current evacuation information at 406-375-6650.

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