The fire was detected August 28, 2012 and the cause is under investigation. Its location is described as west of Whitehall and east of Butte, north of Hwy 2 and south of I-90. The current size is approximately 3000 acres and containment listed at 0%.
As of today, August 29, resources are listed at 1-20 person crew, 11 engines, 2 helicopters, 2 airtankers with additional resources requested.
According to Inciweb closures are as follows: BLM has closed OHV trail/connector routes #24, 25, 26 from Whiskey Gulch Trailhead to a point just north of I-90, located T2N R6W, sections 23-26 and 35. The Forest Service has closed Rader Creek/Moose Creek Road #240 from Homestake Pass T2N R7W, Section 13 to Highway 2, T1N R6W Section 16. Fire officials are asking the public to avoid using Highway 2 between Butte and Whitehall to provide for the safety of firefighters and the public.
A type-two Incident Management Team under the direction of Incident Commander Stan Benes has taken over command from local resources and initial attach crews. Additional resources are ordered and will be arriving over the next few days.
Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for the Lower Rader Creek and Toll Mountain areas. Whiskey Gulch residents have been notified that they may need to leave depending on fire activity.
Fire personnel will continue to protect structures, scout and construct fireline through all divisions. The fire burned actively Tuesday evening and Wednesday. Resources are limited, but as additional incoming resources arrive they will be assigned and begin constructing fireline and securing the fire’s perimeter.
A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 30 at 10:00 a.m. in the Whitehall Community Center, 11 N. Division St. All landowners, evacuees and interested individuals are invited to attend.
A RED FLAG warning is in effect until 9:00 p.m. Thursday with southwest winds expected 15-20 mph gusting to 30 and low relative humidity.
Inciweb is reporting that four structures are confirmed lost – 2 residences and 2 outbuildings. Evacuees that have a need to return to their property for a short time are asked to make escort arrangements through a public information officer who will be at the Whitehall Ambulance Barn on Thursday. Law enforcement escorts will be available at limited times depending on fire activity.
Recreationists expecting to ride in the Pipestone OHV area north of I-90 over Labor Day weekend are asked to make alternative plans in case of a closure due to fire activity.
Cooperating Agencies include Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Butte Bureau of Land Management, Jefferson County, local and rural volunteer fire departments, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
More information on the 19 Mile Fire is available at Inciweb.