The Ross Fork Fire was 13% contained Monday morning up from 2% heading into the weekend, marking the first streak of major gains against the 37,233 burn scarring the southwestern Sawtooth Valley.
The progress comes after crews spent several days reinforcing lines through the state Highway 75 corridor near Smiley Creek, where the burning eastern edge of the fire has threatened homes since Labor Day Weekend. While crews continue to "mop up" hot spots in that area, fire managers from the Great Basin Team 3 are "optimistic" that efforts can shift south to further contain the fire along the roadway and into the headwaters of the Salmon River, according to the Forest Service.
As of Monday morning, the Type 2 Great Basin Team 3 marshaled 14 hand crews, 52 engines and nine helicopters against the Ross Creek Fire, with a small number of scooper planes gathering water from nearby lakes in support. Great Basin's 712 total personnel would make its fire camp near Fourth of July Creek the second-largest town in Custer County, gaining on Challis, the county seat.