The active 41 Complex of forest fires has grown again with an estimated size of 2,800 acres early Tuesday, Sept 6. and from the looks of the smoke column, we'll have a larger acreage total Wednesday.
The fire is in the Sapphire Mountains east of Hamilton and increased burning is expected for the next few days with hot, dry weather. The fire spotted over the Skalkaho Highway in several places Monday and is now burning on both sides of the road. The Skalkaho Highway was closed Monday from Mile Post 14 (just east of Black Bear Campground to Mile Post 30, just west of Gem Mountain.
The 105-acre 41 Fire is closest to structures about 10 miles east of Hamilton. A handline has been etched on the western perimeter and has kept it from reaching structures about a quarter mile away. It is now 90 percent contained. No other structures are threatened and the 41 Complex fire is moving to the south and east.
Meanwhile, in the south end of the Bitterroot Valley, the Stage 1 evacuation warning has been lifted from the homes along Hughes Creek, near the 28,000 acre Saddle Complex.
With the growth of fires in several areas, a Type I Incident Management team will be arriving and working with the Bitterroot National Forest and Hamilton Fire Department on the fires.
Southeast of Darby, the 250 acres Fox Peak fire and the 300 acre Coyote Meadows Fire are south of Signal Rock about 25 miles northeast of Darby.
Expect smoke to continue to be a problem in the valley for the near future.