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Red Shale Fire Update – Aug. 9, 2013

Here is the latest update on the Red Shale fire, including trail closures. This informatioin comes from the U.S. Forest Service.Aerial view of the Red Shale Fire - August 9, 2013. (USFS)

Current Activities: Due to accurate mapping from Infrared and observation flight, the size now is estimated at 9, 294 acres.   Today’s weather continues with the same pattern with some scattered showers.  Fire activity has been very calm partly due to an approximate 60% cloud cover and changes in fuel types that the fire perimeter has encountered.

Fire personnel at GatesParkalong with Beartop Lookout are monitoring current activities. In addition there is a Type 3 helicopter stationed at the ChoteauAirportto support fire management. Two smoke monitors are in service to monitor this region: one at EarMountainand one in Augusta.  Reports are available on-line; please go to and “Related Incident Links.” 

Management Actions:  Evaluation and mitigation of potential risks to the public, fire personnel, and resources remains as the top priority.  Heavy downfall, abundant hazardous snags and dense young lodgepole pine stands, along with remote location in the wilderness poses a challenge in ensuring safety zones and escape routes for fire personnel. A long term management plan identifying activities to slow progress and reduce intensity of the fire was completed on July 24. This plan will be routinely reviewed by District Fire Managers to ensure management actions are adequately addressing concerns identified in the plan.

Restrictions and Closures: For public safety, there are several trails closed within the Sun River Game Preserve and along the Continental Divide Trail. All forest visitors travelling in the backcountry are urged to use caution and be observant of changes in weather and fire behavior. Trail closures are updated frequently: for the current detailed map, please visit

The following trails are closed in full length as of July 31: East Side Sun River #109, Rock Creek #111, Moose Ridge Lookout #125, Red Shale #130,MoonlightPeak#132, North Fork Lick Creek #151, Gates Creek #162, Ray Creek Cut-off #163,RayCreek#164, and Gates Creek – Moose Creek #166. There are partial closures and restrictions on following trails: North Fork Sun River #110 from pack bridge north, Washboard Reef #117 from #108 to #110 junction, and North Fork Wall #174 is closed from Red Shale #130 north toMoonlightPeak#132. The Chinese Wall #175 and My Lake #194 are open to travel, but there is no camping permitted.


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