Firefighters work to contain the 34-acre blaze near Sawtell Peak

ISLAND PARK – Despite hot and dry conditions at Island Park on Saturday, firefighters were able to get ahead of the blaze near Sawtell Peak and put out localized fires in the area.

The fire, which would have been 40 acres on Saturday morning, grew very little and crews have since determined the fire to be just 34 acres, thanks to more accurate mapping. Only 5% content remains, as of Sunday morning.

RELATED | Sawtell Peak Fire spans 40 acres, 5% content

“The fire area will continue to experience record heat and very dry conditions. The likelihood of finding additional spot fires is likely,” a Caribou-Targhee National Forest news release read. “We will continue to identify and control spot fires. Aerial means and pipe laying will be used to bring the water to where it is needed on the ground.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning due to hot temperatures and windy conditions in the area. Part of the forest is closed for public safety reasons. The closure area is identified on the map below.

“With the holiday weekend and events scheduled for Island Park, expect increased traffic and congestion as well as fire traffic. Please be mindful of fire operations and respect Sawtell area closures,” fire officials said in a news release.

The lightning-caused fire started at 2 p.m. Wednesday. It burns about a quarter mile from Sawtell Peak along Forest Service Route 24 in the Ashton/Island Park Ranger District. There were no injuries, but the communications infrastructure is in danger.

RELATED | Gallery: Photos from the Sawtell Peak Fire at Island Park

There are currently 143 firefighters on site with six engines and three helicopters. Other resources include four scoopers and two water tenders.

Carol N. Valencia