Strawberry Fire

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Strawberry Fire


Public Meeting in Heart Butte CANCELLED on Wed, Sept 20th
Note: The public meeting in Heart Butte has been cancelled for Wednesday, September 20th, 2017. Cooler weather and precipitation have resulted in reduced fire activity. Please see the News tab or... more


Approximate Location

48.089 latitude, -113.015 longitude

Incident Overview

Strawberry Fire Progression Map, 9-18-2017

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The Strawberry Fire was reported on August 25th at approximately 12:00pm. The incident is located 2 miles north of Sabido Cabin, between Strawberry Creek and East Fork Strawberry Creek, in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, on the Flathead National Forest.

The fire is being managed with the Scalp and Crucifixion Fires as a Type-4 incident. The strategy for these fires is confine and contain due to their remote location, fire/fuel break from recent fire events, and limited availability of ground/aerial resources resulting from a large number of fires throughout the Western States.


Cooler temperatures and some precipitation have resulted in minimal fire activity reported over the last few days, 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. All area closures remain in place on the Flathead NF, but are being evaluated depending on moisture and weather outlook.

On the Helena-Lewis and Clark NF, cool temperatures and precipitation have reduced fire activity, though moisture levels vary. Crews on the ground have been engaging with hot spots, and helicopter water drops have been planned to cool down some areas. All evacuations were lifted early on Thursday morning, September 14th, and residents can return to their homes/ranches. Road closures were lifted on Friday morning, September 15th. Effective September 18th, 2017, changes have been made to area and trail closures on the Helena-Lewis and Clark NF. An updated closure map can be found under the Maps tab.

The Crucifixion Creek, Strawberry and Scalp Fires have transitioned from the Type 3 IMT to Type 4 management on Tuesday, September 19th at 0700, with Ted Frazer as the incoming IC.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning/ Natural
Date of OriginFriday August 25th, 2017 approx. 12:00 PM
LocationFrom Strawberry Creek Trail on the Flathead NF to 1/2 mile east of Swift Reservoir.
Incident CommanderTed Frazer
Incident DescriptionThe Fire Management Strategy Is 30% Monitor, 60% Confine, 5% Point Protection And 5% Full Suppression.

Current Situation

Total Personnel51
Size20,894 Acres
Estimated Containment DateWednesday November 01st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory), Closed Timber Litter.

Significant Events

Minimal, Backing, Creeping, Smoldering.

Due to current weather activity, fire behavior has greatly moderated. Currently monitoring weather conditions to determine the duration of minimal to moderate fire behavior and the long-term potential return of active to extreme fire behavior. Smoke may be visible because of high winds on the fire.


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. Transition to a Type 4 organization occurred at 0700 on 9/19/17.

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 more active or extreme fire behavior.

More precipitation is expected.


The last IR flight was 9/17 at 1am.

Total Estimated GIS Acres = 20,894(drafted/digitized 9/17)

HLCNF Acres = 11,698(56%)

FNF Acres = 6,641(32%)

Non-FS Acres = 2,555(12%)

Area and trail closures are in place.

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. Overall temperatures should be near or below normal through the period.

Unit Information

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

Incident Contacts

Rocky Mountain Ranger District
Phone: 406-466-5341
Hours: M-F; 8:00am - 4:30pm
Spotted Bear Ranger District
Phone: 406-758-5376
Hours: 7 days/week; 8:00am - 4:30pm
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