The Grizzly Fire Complex fire, now estimated at 71,959 acres, is at 10-percent containment, according to a Thursday morning update from incident managers.

The update also notes the fire spread to approximately 160 acres across Forest Road 62, and firefighters will be working today to stop further movement into the Elbow Creek drainage.

Structure protection remains a priority. The communities of Grouse Flats and Troy are being patrolled. A thermal gel plant (thermal gel is a fire retardant) is now operational on the north side of the fire. Both helicopter- and ground-based applications are planned to protect historic and recreational properties at risk.

The use of aircraft has periodically been interrupted due to the low level smoke around the fire. Delivery of water drops to the fire, particularly when breaches or spot fires occur, is a key suppression tactic to slowing fire growth. Yesterday afternoon’s clearing of low-level smoke did allow helicopters to fly and assist firefighters on the ground.

Personnel continue to scout and construct contingency lines to the west and northeast of the fire.

Cooler, moister weather is anticipated this weekend when a weather front approaches from the west. Although only a few tenths of inches of rain are forecast, the increased moisture will reduce fire behavior and the chance for spotting and spread.

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