A public meeting will be held Saturday, August 4, at 6:00 p.m. at the Madison Valley Rural Fire Department, Station 1 located at 5037 Highway 287 north of Ennis.
The lightning caused Virginia Creek fire detected on August 2 at approximately 12:45 p.m. is currently 35 acres in size and is burning in heavy concentrations of mixed conifer (sub-alpine fir, Engleman Spruce, lodge pole pine) fuels with very heavy concentrations of standing dead trees and logs on the ground and is 0% contained. Resources from the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and the Madison Valley Volunteer Fire Department working on this fire are: 44 personnel including: 3 Engines; 1 Water Tender; 1 Helicopter; and one 26 person hand crew. The fire is located approximately five miles west of McAllister, in the Virginia Creek drainage.
Yesterday the fire burned towards the west and crews worked to build and strengthen existing containment features on the eastern side of the fire. Fire personnel are working to keep the fire from advancing past the Meadow Creek and Virginia Creek roads and from burning over the ridgeline above the fire on the southeast side. Preparations are being made to conduct a burning operation this evening if weather conditions are favorable. The plan is to slowly bring the fire to the Virginia Creek Road and Meadow Creek Roads. Smoke from this burning operation will increase significantly this evening.
Virginia Creek Road #1249 and trail #6314 have been closed in order to provide for the safety of firefighting personnel and public. Smoke will be very visible from Norris Hill south to Ennis and for the next few days to come.