Chrandal Fire – Thursday July 19 Update
The Chrandal Creek Fire is now 30 percent contained, according to the Thursday Update from the fire camp up the West Fork of the Bitterroot Valley.
The wildfire is now expected to increase burning activity as it approaches swaths of trees killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle. Similar areas last caused erratic behavior in last year's Saddle Fire.
The cool and relatively humid weather the past few days have helped firefighters build fireline on the northwest side of the fire in the Bitterroot National Forest and put out spot fires, mainly in Idaho's Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Helicopters dropped water on the northern flank of the fire, which has been active. Work today continues in the Chrandal Creek drainage, with line construction also on the southern edge of the fire.
There was some torching of trees in the interior of the Chrandal Creek Fire. The fire is burning in steep and rugged terrain with subalpine fir and beetle-killed lodgepole pine at elevations of 7,500 to 8,000 feet.