Update on Reynolds Lake Fire in Bitterroot & Salmon-Challis Nat’l Forests 7.23.18
By angelamontana

Posted: July 24, 2018

The Reynolds Lake Fire remains at 1,068 acres and is 25% contained as of July 23, 2018.

(Info via InciWeb)

Firefighters are working to suppress a wildland fire burning on the border of the Bitterroot and Salmon-Challis National Forests near the Reynolds Lake Trailhead, approximately 35 miles SW of Darby, MT. The fire is approximately 1,068 acres in size. The fire was reported on Tuesday, July 17 after a lightning event moved across the southern end of the Bitterroot National Forest the night before. 240 personnel are assigned to this incident. There are no structures threatened at this time. Forest Road #044 to the Reynolds Lake Trailhead is currently closed.

Please respect the airspace and do not fly drones in this area.

Incident Information

Basic Information

Current as of 7/23/2018, 4:16:01 PM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Tuesday July 17th, 2018 approx. 02:00 PM
Location 35 miles SW of Darby near the Reynolds Lake Trailhead. West Fork Ranger District.
Incident Commander Jay Wood
Incident Description Wildfire
Coordinates 45.564 latitude, -114.513 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel 240
Size 1,068 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 25%
Fuels Involved Heavy timber. High elevation Sub-alpine fir and lodgepole pine with dead standing and down fuels, including mountain pine beetle mortality. Numerous hazards including falling trees. Firefighter safety remains a top priority. Numerous snags present a safety threat to firefighters in high wind situations.
Significant Events The Reynolds Lake Fire did not grow on Sunday and remains at 1,068 acres. Crews continued making good progress constructing hand line around the fire and mopping up hot spots. Firefighters have line around approx. 90% of the fire.

Helicopters assisted with bucket work again yesterday to help control fire spread and limit growth. Fire retardant was not used.

Resources on the fire today include 9 crews (including 6 Hotshot crews), 6 engines, 4 helicopters. Air tankers are available again today as needed.


Planned Actions Firefighters will continue constructing hand line with a focus on getting line around the last unsecured section on the far eastern edge. Hose and pumps were set up Sunday and there is now water to all divisions to help secure the line and assist with mop up efforts.

Crews are spending lots of time digging hand line and mopping up the hundreds of individual spot fires that are located outside the main fire perimeter.

Engines will again patrol Forest Road #044 containing these spots, mopping up, and supporting hose lays.

Aircraft will be used as needed to moderate fire behavior and spread. This fire is being actively suppressed under a full suppression strategy.

Projected Incident Activity Mostly smoldering and creeping but some group torching is possible if afternoon winds develop.
Remarks In the last three days, helicopters have dumped 459,358 gallons of water on the Reynolds Lake Fire. Air tankers have also delivered 81,318 gallons of fire retardant helping to dramatically slow the fires spread and growth.

Combined flight time for all aircraft assigned to the fire (Air tankers & helicopters) is over 150 hours.

(photo via InciWeb – photo tab)
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