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Horsefly Fire

Unit Information

Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive Helena Montana 59602
Helena, MT 59602

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Incident Contact

Fire Information
Phone: 406-750-8934
Hours: 0600 to 2200 hours

Highlighted Activity

08/21/2019 Horsefly Fire Update August 21 & 22, 2019
Horsefly Fire Update21 & 22 August 2019Public Information Line: (406) 750-8934Public Inquiry Email: 2019.Horsefly@firenet.govIncident Commander: Shane Martin, Central Montana Type 3 TeamHorsefly -...
News - 08/21/2019

The Horsefly Fire became active August 6, 2019, and within 24 hours had grown to 1274 acres. It is holding at 1,350 acres. The fire is situated in densely timbered steep terrain with a heavy load of beetle killed fuels, Southwest and East of Lincoln, Montana. While fire activity has decreased significantly, fire spread is still possible. Fuels continue to smolder, although visible spots of smoke were rarely observed in the past 24 hours. Shane Martin’s Central Montana Type 3 Incident Management Team remains in command of this incident.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginMonday August 05th, 2019 approx. 12:30 PM
Incident CommanderShane Martin
Coordinates46.963 latitude, -112.441 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel94
Size1,350 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained56%
Estimated Containment DateMonday September 30th, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (litter and understory)

Fire is burning in gray stage beetle killed lodgepole and subalpine fir with a high component of dead and down. Understory of grass and shrubs has a higher live fuel moisture content at this time and won't carry unless 1000-hr fuels are present.

Significant Events

Fire activity is minimal across the fire area.


Planned Actions

Northern Fire Border: Crews will continue to monitor for fire growth along the fire edge and to scout for further potential holding lines to minimize fire on private property. A heavy equipment crew will finish the check line from the North central edge of the fire to the North and tie it into MT Highway 279 by Wednesday afternoon.

Southern Border of the Fire: Crews will continue to hold and strengthen existing control lines, monitoring for hot spots, and beginning some landscape rehabilitation where practical.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Minimal growth expected as isolated heat pockets continue to smolder.

24 hours: Frontal system may affect the area Wednesday night or Thursday, increasing West winds and potentially some thunderstorm activity.

48 hours: Continued warming/drying trend predicted may lead to an increase in fire behavior resulting in increased smoke production and fire spread.

72 hours: Continued warming/drying trend predicted may lead to an increase in fire behavior resulting in increased smoke production and fire spread.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Fire activity may increase as fuels continue to cure, and the drying trend continues.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Mostly sunny and dry conditions Wednesday will give way to increasing clouds in the evening with the slight chance of a thunderstorm late evening through early Thursday morning. Any thunderstorm will be capable of producing lightning and gusty and erratic outflow winds. After cold frontal passage during pre-dawn hours Thursday, West winds will occasionally become gusty especially toward ridge tops, with the chance for a shower or two during the later morning through afternoon period.