MISSOULA — The Beeskove fire burning in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area is holding at 429 acres.
Fire managers report crews took advantage of favorable weather Friday and made great strides utilizing vegetation breaks and more defensible terrain to construct indirect line around the fire.
There was no growth in fire size. Firefighters also made significant progress documenting defensibility of homes and other structures in the vicinity of the fire.
Despite the recent moisture, the fire continues to hold heat and will continue to burn into the warming and drying trend forecasted for next week.
Heavy equipment is being used to the northeast, improving fuel breaks in the Gold Creek area. Clearing work will also continue along the powerline corridor.
Hotshot crews are building line to the southwest and installing and testing hoselays due south on an indirect line above the old West Riverside Fire scar.
Structure assessments will continue in the Rattlesnake Creek area. This effort complements the “Wildfire Adapted Missoula” work that has been happening amongst cooperating fire agencies.
Strong to possibly severe thunderstorms will develop Saturday afternoon near the fire area. The strongest storms may contain gusty winds up to 50 mph, heavy rains and large hail.
Additionally, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect later today as up to one half inch of rain in half an hour is possible.
The following areas are closed due to Beeskove Fire suppression operations:
- Woody Mountain – Johnson Gulch area is closed to recreational use.
- Sheep Mountain Trailhead is closed, along with access to the trailhead via East Twin Creek Road FS 2117 and Upper Twin Creek Road FS 2119.
- Mineral Peak Lookout is closed as well as access to the lookout via the East Fork Rattlesnake Road FS 2112 and Mineral Peak Lookout Road 2120.
- Upper Twin Creek/Sheep Mountain Spur Trail #505 is closed.
- T13N, R17W - all The Nature Conservancy lands.
- T14N, R17W – all The Nature Conservancy lands that lie west of the Gold Creek Road #126, north to the junction with West Fork Gold Creek Road #2103, then southwest of the West Fork Gold Creek Road #2103.
- T15N, R17W – all The Nature Conservancy lands that lie southwest of the West Fork Gold Creek Roads #2103 and #4323.