The Bear Creek Fire on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in the Big Hole is estimated at 6,334 acres as of Monday morning, August 17. The Incident Management Team report said the timber and brush fire is 10 percent contained. There are over 400 people on the firelines of the blaze southeast of the Bitterroot Valley.

Two fixed-wing water scooping airplanes (photo above) are assisting in the fire fight, which means those recreating on Clark Canyon Reservoir should be cautious when the aircraft are in the area, scooping up water. The airplanes are in addition to 8 helicopters providing an air attack on the blaze. Fire officials expect fire activity Monday in the south fork of Everson in the Black Canyon Creek area and along the 3918 Road. Crews have instituted a firing plan to burnout along the northwest side of the fire and in the Bear Gulch area. Also, structure protection has been added to the buildings east of the fire. Crews are working protect cultural resources in the historic Lemhi Pass area. Lemhi Pass Road is closed from its junction with Montana Highway 324 to the pass and the public is asked to stay away from the general area because of heavy fire traffic.

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