HELENA — The Deep Creek Canyon Fire burning between Townsend and White Sulphur Springs saw minimal growth over the evening into Friday morning as crews continue to work on containment. The estimated size of the fire as of the morning of June 18 was 4,647 acres with more than 200 fire personnel responding.
The Type 1 Team reports a break in the weather on Thursday has allowed for resources to make gains on suppression efforts. Minimal growth to the north and east were observed in the fire area. A decent amount of line was secured on the northwest perimeter utilizing engine crews.
On Friday, additional firefighting resources are arriving to assist with suppression efforts. Crews and engines will continue working on direct fire attack with the support of aircraft and heavy logging equipment. On the southwestern edge, crews are securing an established fire line and mopping up the heel of the fire perimeter where it intersects Highway 12.
A structure protection group is also assessing values at risk and making plans to safely mitigate the fire’s impact upon the values they are charged with protecting.
The helibase is now operating from the Townsend airport to support additional aircraft.
A forest closure has been put into effect in areas adjacent to the fire. The order prohibits all motorized and foot traffic in the designated area until July 15, unless lifted earlier by the U.S. Forest Service.
Highway 12 will be open, but drivers should expect significant delays and reduced speeds while crews work in the area. Travelers should use an alternative route if possible.
The Grassy Mountain subdivision evacuation remains in effect.
At least one home and several pets have been lost:
Doug, Linda and Zane Thomas lost their family home to the Deep Creek wildfire. They got some of their main belongings out along with their two dogs. Sadly they couldn’t save their inside and outside cats. The entire house and all of their storage and out buildings are completely gone.
A DNRC helicopter had a "hard landing" on Tuesday; click here for details.
Click here for more information about the Deep Creek Canyon Fire on the Inciweb site.
The community of White Sulphur Springs is working to help people affected by the fire: