Posted: Jul 13, 2012 2:23 PM by Mark Thorsell - MTN News
DARBY- The Chrandal Creek fire flared up Thursday afternoon with the latest estimates showing that 1,700 acres have now burned in rugged terrain on the Montana/Idaho Border near the Lost Trail Ski Area.
Tod McKay with the Bitterroot National Forest reports that 25 residences in the upper Hughes Creek have been put on stage I evacuation notice by the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office and have been warned they may have to leave when asked if the fire continues to move closer.
Fire officials say that high temperatures and low humidities increased the fire activity and danger Thursday with the blaze getting bigger on the north and east sides. The fire continues to burn in very steep and rugged terrain in the Bitterroot and Salmon Challis national forests, about five miles east of last summer's Saddle Complex fire.
(photo courtesy inciweb.org)
There are now 230 personnel and 160 firefighters assigned to the lightning-sparked fire along with three helicopters. While Friday is once again expected to be hot and dry, some relief may be on the way as cooler temperatures and a chance of rain is being forecast over the fire area.
The fire has prompted the Bitterroot National Forest to close Mine Creek Road #5688 at the junction of Hughes Creek Road # 9630.
Fire officials point out that the Chrandal Creek fire is burning on ridges located at 7,500 feet to 8,000 feet with very limited access, few roads and limited safety zones and escape routes.