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We Needed That! – Elbow Pass Wildfire Update Oct 5, 2012

From: Wendy Clark, Fire Information Officer

On Tuesday, October 2, portions of the fire were very active in part due to winds associated with an approaching cold front. There was active burning with some spread in Rapid Creek, Sugarloaf, and Bar Creek on the west side of the Continental Divide, and active burning with group tree torching and some short crown runs in the Halfmoon area east of the Divide.

The weather changed significantly with the arrival of a strong cold front on Tuesday night, bringing the first measurable precipitation since mid-August. Snow fell on all parts of the fire, accumulating 10-12 inches in the Green Fork area and between 8 and 12 inches on much of the fire on the Rocky Mountain RD. The Danaher Cabin on the Spotted Bear RD of the Flathead NF on the west side of the fire complex reported 2.5 inches of snow. Although some chance of continuing fire activity is possible mainly on the Flathead NF portion of the fire, the Lewis and Clark portion is now considered Contained. ‘Containment’ means that fire may continue to smolder or burn in some isolated interior areas, but it is not expected to spread beyond the existing perimeter.]

Prior to the arrival of precipitation, the hose lay and pump equipment in the South Fork Sun River were removed, having accomplished the objective of limiting fire spread to the north. Staff at Patrol Lookout on the Lewis and Clark NF was moved down on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and staff at Jumbo Lookout on the Flathead NF will be removed when the weather improves enough to do so safely.  Structure protection wrap is being removed from the Basin Cabin, and will be removed from the Danaher Cabin next week. Monitoring of the fire will continue via occasional flights, as well as by ground personnel working to assess and clear trails and carry out other fire-related tasks.

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