More Wind Expected on Sawtooth Fire – Evacuation Alert Issued
The wind arrived Sunday, as expected, and the Sawtooth Forest Fire was pushed to the east.
Sunday afternoon, fire officials issued a Stage 1 Evacuation Alert in the Hamilton area for all areas west of West Side Road from Blodgett Canyon to North Gold Creek Loop.
This is the "Alert and Warning" notice, meaning there is a high probability that an evacuation may be needed. The next level - Stage 2 - is the evacuation itself.
The Sawtooth fire was pushed east along the steep Sawtooth Canyon with afternoon winds of between 30 to 50 miles per hour. The fire has also spotted over into Canyon Creek, where it is burning along the top of the ridge.
A fire information trailer is set up on US 93, across from Roaring Lion Road, and the Bitterroot Humane Association is preparing to help with possible evacuation of animals. Law enforcement will be going door-to-door in the affected area to notify those in the Stage 1 Warning zone.
The Sawtooth Fire Public Information number is 363-3556. The Ravalli County Emergency Operations Center (at this point, a recorded message) is 375-6650.
Sawtooth Trail, Roaring Lion Trail and Canyon Creek Trail are all closed because of the Sawtooth Fire, which is southwest of Hamilton.
The boundaries of the Stage One Zone, starts on the north with homes west and south of Paradise Trail and Blodgett Camp Road, then homes west of West Side Road all the way to Roaring Lion Road, where the zone moves to Highway 93, affecting all homes west of US 93 to North Gold Creek Loop, for the southern boundary. On that road, homes on the north side are in the zone.
And, at this time, those in the Stage 1 area should relocate residents with special health needs or other concerns.
The National Weather Service expects more wind in the area tomorrow, Monday.
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman talked with KLYQ/KGVO News Sunday.