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Sawtooth Public Meeting is Tuesday Evening

Smoke over the valley from the Sawtooth Fire Monday. (KLYQ Photo)

The principal organizations fighting the Sawtooth Forest Fire will have a public information meeting Tuesday, September 11, at 6pm.

The meeting will be at the Performing Arts Center at Hamilton High School and will include briefings on the fire itself, the weather, structure protection and, of course, the evacuation.

Gregg DeNitto, Public Information Officer on the fire, said that the meeting will also include displays and there will be time for questions and answers.

Tuesday, another helicopter was added to the air suppression efforts. The winds have not been as intense as Monday, but they are still kicking up the flames. The fire is active at the mouth of Sawtooth Canyon and there is activity along Owings Creek.

Smoke in the valley, especially on the north end, is coming from the active Powell SBW Complex, which is burning in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and has reached US 12 on the Idaho side of Lolo Pass. That complex of fires has burned over 42,000 acres so far. The Storm Creek Pack Bridge has fire damage to about a third of its decking. Highway 12 is still open, by the way.

South of the Bitterroot Valley, in Idaho’s Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Mustang Complex has reached 289,000 acres. Most of the growth Monday was on the northwestern and eastern edges. In fact, the fire has now reached US 93. There is a problem with traffic on US 93 from visitors taking “windshield tours” of the flames visible on the ridges to the west. That is hampering firefighters. Don’t do it.

The highway remains open.


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