AUGUSTA, MT – Calm, favorable wind and cooler weather overnight allowed firefighters working the night shift to make progress on the Alice Creek Fire near Lincoln. They've been using bulldozers and burnouts to constrict a containment line along North Fork of Green Creek Road to stop the fire from moving further east and south.

Meanwhile, along the southern tip of the fire east of Silver King Lake, firefighters spent the night constructing a dozer line using an existing road and contained several spot fires glowing west of Alice Creek.

Chinook helicopter from the Air National Guard is dropping water on the Alice Creek Fire Sept. 3 (USFS Photo)
Chinook helicopter from the Air National Guard is dropping water on the Alice Creek Fire Sept. 3 (USFS Photo)

Along the northern flank looking into East Fork falls and Little Skunk Creeks where several loads of retardant were dropped, firefighters observed very few spot fires.

The Fire is now 21,913 acres, so it has grown nearly another 4000 acres, and still 0% contained.

Plans for Tuesday (Sept. 5) include building upon the work accomplished during the night by constructing, holding and improving containment line along Wildcat Ridge to Alice Mountain. Dozers are focusing their efforts on constructing containment line north from Bedrock Creek where appropriate and will look for areas where they can effectively minimize fire spread onto private land. Along the eastern flank, dozers and crews are working near Green and Bedrock Creeks to extinguish hot spots.

Fire managers are working with landowners in the northeastern flank to locate areas to support air operations and to construct dozer and hand lines to protect private property.

The incident management team hosted a community meeting for 108 community members in Augusta last night. The Incident Meteorologist provided background to the weather event that nearly doubled the fire’s size. It now encompasses approximately 34 square miles. Fire operations also provided an update on the fire activity.

High pressure is building in the region that will bring warmer temperatures, and a return to smoke inversions. While the air will be clean enough to fly in, the inversion will delay aircraft from launching until 11 a.m. Meteorologists anticipate light northerly wind on the ridges, which will allow groups of trees to torch and at the warmer part of the day, to make short uphill runs.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for the Landers Fork, Elk Trail, Elk Meadows/Evergreen Subdivisions, as well as the Alice Creek Basin and Tom’s Gulch areas. There are approximately 90 residents affected by the evacuation orders. The Dearborn Canyon residents have NOT received a pre-evacuation notice; however, they should be ready to leave, if conditions rapidly change.

There are four confirmed structures located at the end of Bedrock Road that were destroyed September 2nd. No other structures have been reported. The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff is an essential partner in helping firefighters with this work and will be the notifying owners if structures have been destroyed.

When available, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff officers are coordinating with fire management personnel to authorize limited and controlled entry to residents who need access to their property to recover essential items. Residents will be escorted in and out by the Sheriff. Please call 406-447-8293.

A Red Cross Shelter is on standby at the Wolf Creek Elementary School (150 Walsh St, Wolf Creek, MT). Area residents that may need assistance are encouraged to contact Red Cross at 1-800-272-6668.

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