The Sharps Fire continued its push up the Little Wood River on Monday morning, burning through rough and rugged terrain towards Swede Peak, eight days and some 64,757 acres after it first sparked east of Bellevue on July 29.
Crews expected an active blaze along the fire’s northern frontier, as flames feed on stands of conifers and aspens. Crews spent Monday morning working east from Porcupine Creek, and using bulldozers and hand tools to construct a line from Copper and Thompson creeks towards Swede Peak Trail on the fire’s northeastern corner. As of 9 a.m. on Monday, the fire remained 57 percent contained, according to a spokeswoman for the federal interagency wildfire information website InciWeb.
Working under Great Basin Incident Management Team 1, firefighters were able to halt the westward spread of the fire towards Hailey and Bellevue late last week, according to Incident Commander Beth Lund, though crews will continue to monitor the perimeter.
As of Sunday afternoon, pre-evacuation notices remained in effect for all residents north and east of the intersection of Buttercup Road and Myrtle Street in Hailey, including the Old Cutters/Buttercup subdivisions, North and South Hiawatha, Red Devil, Indian Creek, the Valley Club, Ohio Gulch, Heatherlands, and all of East Fork. Residents in these areas should be prepared to leave if fire behavior changes, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Quigley Road remains closed to all traffic, including hikers, horses and vehicles. For a complete list of road closures around the fire area, go to www.blainesheriff.com.
On Thursday, Blaine County Sheriff Steve Harkins announced that his office had issued a summons to appear in court to Ryan M. Jensen, of Bellevue, for allegedly starting the fire by illegally shooting at exploding targets.
For more information, continue to check www.mtexpress.com, and see Wednesday’s print edition.