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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

Highlighted Activity

08/17/2020 Garnet Fire Area Closure 8/17/2020
FLATHEAD NATIONAL FOREST 650 Wolfpack Way Kalispell, MT  59901 Forest Supervisor’s OrderD04-168-S-20 AREA CLOSURE ORDERLITTLE SALMON CREEK FIRE AREAPursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551, and 36 C.F.R....
Closure - 08/17/2020
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 ]

Closure orders will be revisited this Monday, September 28th to assess how long they will remain in effect; Salmon Forks Cabin received 0.17' of rain on September 24th, and the area has the potential to receive more precipitation this week. Updates will be posted as soon as they are available. 

Recon flights were able to resume September 22nd; fire behavior observed was backing and creeping primarily in the unnamed drainage east of Garnet Creek.

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 are in process as the fire is 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. The Spotted Bear WFM is currently staffing the fire at the Salmon Forks Cabin. Contacts are being made with individuals recreating in the area of the Little Salmon trails system and closure orders are posted.

There is an official closure order in place for the Little Salmon drainage and some connecting trails.

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.