Ravalli County Fairgrounds Open for Evacuated Animals
The Stage 2 Evacuation is happening and folks on the West Side already have some assistance.
If you need to move your livestock, the Ravalli County Fairgrounds has stalls and areas to house those animals. You will need to care for them - water, feed, etc. - but at least they have a place to stay outside the evacuation zone. (see photo) The Bitterroot Humane Society is working with people to find housing for smaller animals like dogs and cats.
The Blodgett Creek campground and trail have been added to the list of closed trails on the Bitterroot National Forest. Also closed are the Sawtooth Creek Trail, the Roaring Lion Trail and the Canyon Creek Trail.
An infrared flight over the fire last night showed that the fire has moved farther east on Sawtooth Creek, and has spotted into Barley Basin in the Canyon Creek drainage, and onto the North Fork of Owings Creek on Downing Mountain.
Yesterday, smoke from fires in Idaho - particularly the 18,000 acre McGuire Fire near Dixie and the 16,000 acre Sheep Fire north of Riggins - added to the Moose Creek and Powell Complex smoke and prevented Sawtooth managers from getting an accurate idea of the growth of the Bitterroot Valley fire until the overnight IR flight.
A "Red Flag" forecast of 30-50 mph winds today has caused the Sawtooth Fire to react in a massive fashion, with hot burning fire fronts.
Officials concerned at all the fires in the area. For instance, the 282,000 Mustang Fire is now about a mile from US 93 north of North Fork, Idaho. The road remains open, but there is heavy smoke and lots of fire traffic.
Air quality at the Ravalli County Courthouse monitor in Hamilton showed "Unhealthy" for hourly particulate county and "Very Unhealthy" for long exposure.