Fire Burns Near Previous Seared Landscape

Montana – The Elk Hill Wildfire broke out on April 9th and had been actively burning grass and downfall near the lower North  Fork Sun River and SE of the Lewis & Clark National Forest Service cabin on Cabin Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of the Rocky Mountain Ranger District in Montana.

Forest Service Fire Apparatus.  Credit: MT Lewis & Clark Forest Service

The fire deemed to have started either by warming or a campfire had spread to being within the perimeter of a previous wildfire that burned in the Circle Creek area back in 2005.

Close-up of two of the three smoke columns, the larger of the two columns in the background. Picture taken from airplane

Photo taken on April 10, 2016 shows the magnitude of the Fire.  Photo Credit: Lewis & Clark National Forest.

On Thursday night into this morning, the area received  10-inches of snow, enabling Fire Managers allowing a 100% containment status.  Due to this precipitation, Fire resources and personnel had been released down to 20 still assigned to this incident.  The incident is currently in monitoring status.

smoke column in middle, taken from airplane

Fire Image taken during a flight above the incident. Photo Credit:  Lewis 8 Clark National Forest.

A total of 1086 acres were burned.

No Cost-to-Date was known at the time of this post.

Hashtags related to this fire are #elkhillfire #MTWildfires #MTFires2016

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog


MT Wildfire Update: Red Shale Fire – Lewis and Clark National Forest

Current Activities: Similar weather pattern will continue today, scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop this afternoon into the evening. This trend is forecasted to continue into next week. Today, weather permitting; air operations will deliver supplies to continue to support fire management activities around Cabin Creek area and District Fire Managers will fly to survey and monitor fire activities.

8/3/13 – 0830 MST

A structure protection plan has been completed. Fire personnel at Gates Park along with Beartop Lookout are monitoring current activities. In addition there is a Type 3 helicopter stationed at the Choteau Airport to support fire management. Two smoke monitors are in service to monitor this region: one at Ear Mountain and one in Augusta. Reports are available on-line; please go and “Related Incident Links.”

Management Actions: Evaluation and mitigation of potential risks to the public, fire personnel, and resources remains as the top priority. Heavy downfall, abundant hazardous snags and dense young lodgepole pine stands, along with remote location in the wilderness poses a challenge in ensuring safety zones and escape routes for fire personnel. A long term management plan identifying activities to slow progress and reduce intensity of the fire was completed on July 24. This plan will be routinely reviewed by District Fire Managers to ensure management actions are adequately addressing concerns identified in the plan.

Restrictions and Closures: For public safety, there are several trails closed within the Sun River Game Preserve and along the Continental Divide Trail. All forest visitors travelling in the backcountry are urged to use caution and be observant of changes in weather and fire behavior. Trail closures are updated frequently: for the current detailed map, please visit

The following trails are closed in full length as of July 31: East Side Sun River #109, Rock Creek #111, Moose Ridge Lookout #125, Red Shale #130, Moonlight Peak #132, North Fork Lick Creek #151, Gates Creek #162, Ray Creek Cut-off #163, Ray Creek #164, and Gates Creek – Moose Creek #166. There are partial closures and restrictions on following trails: North Fork Sun River #110 from pack bridge north, Washboard Reef #117 from #108 to #110 junction, and North Fork Wall #174 is closed from Red Shale #130 north to Moonlight Peak #132. The Chinese Wall #175 and My Lake #194 are open to travel, but there is no camping permitted.