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Garnet Fire

Unit Information

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

USFS Shield

Incident Contact

Spotted Bear Ranger Station
Phone: 406-758-5376
Hours: 8:30 - 4:30 MDT, 7 days/week

Looking the Garnet Fire up Little Salmon drainage from the confluence of Little Salmon Creek and the South Fork Flathead (1300 MDT).Image options: [ Full Size ]

The area closure for the Garnet Fire has been lifted, please see the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex maps. 

Due to precipitation (Salmon Forks Cabin received 0.17' of rain on September 24th), cooler temperatures, and snowfall at high elevations, the area closure for the Garnet Fire has been lifted and crews have been removed from the Salmon Forks Administrative site. The Spotted Bear Ranger District will remain alert for any unexpected changes in the coming weeks. 

The Garnet Fire began August 15th, 2020 as a result of lightning. The fire is burning mid to upper slope on the northeast aspect of the ridge that separates the Little Salmon and Big Salmon drainages, approximately four miles up drainage from the South Fork of the Flathead River on the west side of Garnet Creek. As of September 6th, the fire has spotted across the Garnet Creek drainage and is now well established on the NW facing slope as well. Current fire behavior is classified as creeping, mainly upslope to the south; currently lateral movement and backing downslope to the Little Salmon Creek bottom is limited but has been observed on the east side of Garnet Creek. 

Point protection plans were in process as the fire was anticipated to spread toward the Salmon Forks Administrative Site, located approximately four miles east of the current fire location. The Spotted Bear WFM worked out of the cabin to implement structure protection plans on all administrative buildings, including Mud Lake Lookout. Contacts were made with any individuals recreating in the area of the Little Salmon trails system at the time of the closure.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSaturday August 15th, 2020 approx. 01:30 PM
Location34 miles E of Polson, MT
Coordinates47.637 latitude, -113.443 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel11
Size866 Acres
Estimated Containment DateThursday October 15th, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Significant Events

Moderate, backing and flanking near the top of the burn, single tree torching


Planned Actions

The Spotted Bear Wildland Fire Module is on-site preparing to implement point protection tactics to safeguard historic, administrative structures.

Projected Incident Activity

Fire spread in Garnet drainage, with possible thermal belts keeping the fire active through the night.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

The long term forecast shows a potential for unseasonably warm temperatures and dry conditions.