The 4,869 acre Sawtooth Fire west of Hamilton is now 35 percent contained, and much of that containment is on the important eastern edge of the blaze - which is nearest private property.


The fire has been spreading farther west into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Firefighters are concerned about possible spread on the south edge into Roaring Lion Creek and on the north edge into Barley Creek in the Canyon Creek drainage. Stage 1 evacuation warning zones are unchanged and residents need to be ready for possible evacuation should the conditions change.

An update on the fire is planned Thursday, September 20 at the Hamilton City Hall (the Bedford Building) at 7 p.m.

Officials report that smoke is still being produced from pockets of trees and downfall inside the fire perimeter. Crews are working on some of the largest areas to limit their size and reduce the smoke. Sawtooth Creek Trail, Roaring Lion Trail, Ward Mountain Trail, Canyon Creek Trail and Blodgett Campground are closed because of the Sawtooth

Air quality at the Ravalli County Courthouse monitoring station shows an "Unhealthy" reading for the hourly particulate count and is in the "Very Unhealthy" for the 24-hour cumulative count.

Other Fires

The Mustang Fire, which has reached US 93 north of North Fork, Idaho on its eastern side, has grown to the north in the wilderness toward Hells Half Acre Lookout and also in Reynolds Creek, toward the West Fork of the Bitterroot River and Allan Mountain areas. The fire is now estimated to have burned 327,000 acres.

The McGuire Complex of fires south of Elk City has continued to be active with 33,661 acres burned so far. Evacuations of Dixie and other locations are in effect.

Travelers, because of smoke and fire traffic, use your headlights and be cautious on US 93 south of Lost Trail Pass to Salmon and on Highway 12 on the Idaho side of Lolo Pass.