The Salmon-Challis National Forest implemented a road closure Thursday to protect forest visitors and firefighters from traffic hazards.
Traffic in the area increased significantly from public viewing of the Bear Creek Fire on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
The following roads are closed:
Forest Road #60185 Warm Springs Road
FROM Lemhi Pass north TO a point 3.6 miles in distance along Forest Service road #60185 Warm Springs Road (T19N, R25E, NE ¼ of section 2).
Forest Road #60013 Agency Creek RoadFROM Lemhi Pass TO the intersection with Forest Service Road #60068 Copper Queen Mine Road.
The roads are within the boundaries of the Leadore Ranger District.
The closure will be in effect until September 30, 2020.
Fire managers say they could see critical weather conditions Thursday with the Bear Creek Fire.
The fire is burning in Montana's Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest northeast of Leadore near the Lemhi pass.
Fire managers said they did a late night infrared flight mapping the fire to 3,987 acres.
Winds are expected to be gusty along with low relative humidity which could result in extreme activity.
The Continental Divide Trail is closed from Lemhi Pass to Bannock Pass. The Lemhi Pass Road is closed from Brenner Lane in Montana to the Idaho border.
A Type 2 team took command of the fire Thursday morning.
They said they have 8 helicopters, three Type 1 Crews, three engines and 139 personnel working on the fire.
A Bear Creek fire burning near the Montana-Idaho border is estimated to be approximately 1,500 acres Wednesday morning.
The fire increased overnight from 200 acres Tuesday evening, fire managers said.
The fire burned actively through the night due to low relative humidity, they said.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
The fire started Tuesday, August 11 at approximately 10:30 a.m. in the Lemhi Pass area. The fire is on the Montana side of the border in the Dillon Ranger District of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team is expected to arrive Wednesday and will take control of the fire on Thursday morning.
Currently, two Type 1, two Type 2, and one Type 3 helicopters are being used on the fire along with three Type 1 Crews; one Type 2 Crews; a Type 2 Initial Attack Crew; six Type 6 Engines; 1 tactical Water Tender.
Smoke can be seen over a large area, from Salmon to Dillon.