Sawtooth Fire – Red Flag Warning for Area
The Sawtooth Fire is estimated to have burned 4,626 acres so far and is 25 percent contained, as a new Type 1 Incident Management Team takes over operations.
The inversion in the valley has caused "Very Unhealthy" hourly particulate counts for air quality in the valley and the smoke has been invading the Missoula valley, too. The 297,000 acre Mustang Fire, just south of the valley in Idaho, also has been adding a large amount of smoke.
The National Weather Service has issued a "Red Flag" warning for the area today and Saturday. The winds will be blowing at least 15 miles per hour and they will be shifting in directions as a front moves through. The fire managers expect some of the smoke to clear, but also expect the fire to burn more actively. Which portions of the fire will be affected is uncertain, depending on the weather.
Paula Short, information officer for the new Type 1 Incident Management team, had this report Friday morning.