No Homes Lost – Sawtooth Fire Now 3,900 Acres
The rumors were flying as thick as the ash fall in Hamilton Monday. But, at the end of the day, no buildings were lost in the Sawtooth Fire.
Early in the afternoon, the wind-driven fire threatened the Grubstake Restaurant, perched high up on the mountain near a thicket of radio and cellphone towers.
Advance work by fire crews helped in the successful defense of those facilities, and the fire moved on downhill. This morning, the fire's size is estimated at 3,900 acres after an Infrared sensor flight last night. The fire is mainly south of the Hamilton "H" on Downing Mountain, though the fire continues above that to the north, following a canyon. (see photo)
The night patrols went well, and Forest Service crews and volunteer fire departments from throughout Ravalli County kept the fire away from homes.
The Stage 2 evacuation continues, with roadblocks and 24-hour patrols by the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office. If you don't live in the area, you are not allowed in.
An information trailer at US 93 at the Roaring Lion Road intersection was a popular place yesterday and officials are expecting lots of activity again today.
The Red Cross evacuation center is at First Baptist Church at 354 Cooper Lane on the south end of Hamilton. Their number is 363-3735. Sawtooth fire information until 10 p.m. is 363-3556. The Ravalli County Emergency Operations Center has evacuation information at 375-6650.