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Scalp Fire

Unit Information

Flathead National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT 59901

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This incident is no longer being updated.

Updated Scalp Fire Closure Area, Sept. 22nd, 2017Image options: [ Full Size ]

All area and trail closures have been lifted. Please use caution in recently burned areas. This is the final update.

The Scalp Fire was reported at approximately 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 15th. The incident is located 3 miles south of Gooseberry Cabin, on Bow Mountain, in the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the Flathead National Forest.


Cooler temperatures and some precipitation have resulted in minimal fire activity reported, however, smoke continues to be observed. Moisture received has been very inconsistent across the area. Fire activity continues to be monitored by on-the-ground resources and aerial recon as weather permits.

On the Flathead NF, smoke is still present and lies mostly within the interior of the fire, as heavier fuels continue to clean up within the perimeter. Personnel have continued to conduct trail reconnaissance, where possible, in order to assess for future public safety and infrastructure damage. Snags are a very real hazard and trail conditions vary - from minimal damage, to being difficult to locate with heavy downfall and snags, to severe tread damage.

On the Helena-Lewis and Clark NF, cooler temperatures and precipitation have reduced fire activity, though moisture levels vary. Structure protection remains in place at Wrong Creek cabin. Crews continue to assess the conditions of trails for hazards before they can be opened.

The Crucifixion Creek, Strawberry and Scalp Fires transitioned from the Type 3 IMT to Type 4 management on Tuesday, September 19th.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning/ Natural
Date of OriginTuesday August 15th, 2017 approx. 07:00 PM
LocationBow Mountain in the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Incident CommanderDuty Officer
Incident DescriptionThe Fire Management Strategy Is 70% Monitor, 25% Confine And 5% Point Protection.
Coordinates47.957 latitude, -113.071 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel1
Size20,810 Acres
Estimated Containment DateFriday December 01st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (litter and understory), heavy timber and snags.

Significant Events

Minimal, Backing, Creeping, Smoldering.


Planned Actions

Fire will be monitored for spread potential off the forest and to look at opportunities to secure areas that pose a risk to non-Forest Service lands. IMT4 organization is using moderating conditions to catch up on organizational needs. Organizational needs will be reevaluated every couple days to determine staffing needs for the next couple weeks. Continue the public information trapline.

Projected Incident Activity

Due to current weather activity, fire behavior has greatly moderated. Currently monitoring weather conditions to determine the duration of more moderate fire behavior and the potential to return to active/extreme fire behavior.


Total Acres = 20,810

HLC Acres = 3,969

FNF Acres = 16,841

All area and trail closures have been lifted. Please use caution in recently burned areas.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

A significant change in the weather has moved into the area starting

9/13. Another period of cooler and potentially wetter conditions is settling in this week.