Posted: Aug 5, 2013 2:51 PM by MTN News
Updated: Aug 5, 2013 2:52 PM
The Red Shale Fire burning in the Bob Marshall Wilderness about 37 miles west of Choteau has grown to about 10,300 acres as of Monday, August 4th.
The fire is centered about 37 miles west of Choteau.
The fire was detected by the Beartop Lookout on July 18 in an area where lightning strikes had been observed the night before.
The fire is burning in Red Shale Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Fire activity is predominantly north of Red Shale Creek and west of the North Fork Sun River; the Gates Park airstrip is near the eastern perimeter.
The fire is burning within the 1988 Gates Park Fire area, in heavy downed and standing dead timber with pockets of young lodgepole pine stands that are regenerating from previous fires.
Heavy downfall, abundant hazardous snags, and dense young lodgepole pine stands, along with remote location in the wilderness poses a challenge in ensuring safety zones and escape routes for fire personnel.
The fire is clearing much of the 2-to-3 foot high downfall and opening up the thick regrowth of lodgepole pine saplings that has blanketed the area following the 1988 fire.