Smoke Continues to Be A Problem in Bitterroot
Air quality in the Bitterroot Valley Tuesday morning remains at "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups," meaning those with any lung problems should limit their outdoor activity. Missoula has improved to "Moderate" air quality, but Dillon is still at Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. Weather Service officials say the smoke is generally from the massive California fires. We are expecting some wind and maybe some thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.
Locally, the Cinnabar Fire, east of the valley on the Welcome Creek Wilderness area grew to over 2,000 acres Monday. Lolo National Forest Crews are busy establishing fire lines east of the blaze and have also laid a hose line along the Bitterroot-Rock Creek Divide trail #313. The fire is burning in heavy downfall and beetle-killed timber.
Southeast of us, the Bear Creek Fire in the Big Hole, east of Lemhi Pass, is now at 11,236 acres as of Tuesday morning. The good news is the fire is now 70 percent contained and there are no evacuation orders. Lots of smoke in the Big Hole and Dillon, though.
In Idaho, the Shissler Fire near Elk City is now at 2,400 acres and has been moving away from any structures, though protection has been provided to those buildings. The Magruder Corridor and Green Mountain Road remain open. In the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Marion Fire southeast of Powell is now 70 acres in size and the Double fire on the Moose Creek Ranger District is about 37 acres. Fire danger on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest is Extreme. Fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest is "Very High" and officials are urging people to make sure their campfires are Dead Out when they leave their campsites.