Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59602
Hours: M-F 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Cascade County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation order for residents of Belt Park due to Balsinger Fire activity northwest of Neihart.
The lightning-caused Balsinger Fire, burning 7 miles west of Neihart, started on July 8, 2021 and is being managed as part of the Divide Complex with the Ellis Fire. It is one of several wildfires burning on the White Sulphur Springs Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest.
The Southern Area Incident Management Gold Team, led by Incident Commander Debbie Beard, assumed command of the fire on July 23, 2021. Multiple resources are responding to the fire. Firefighters continue suppression and firing operations towards the 2017 Blacktail Fire footprint, holding the fireline along the east. Aerial resources are supporting boots on the ground.
Hot and dry conditions continue across the area with near red flag conditions. Active to extreme fire behavior is expected, with substantial growth possible.
|Current as of|
|Date of Origin||Thursday July 08th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM|
|Location||~7 miles west of Neihart|
|Incident Commander||Steve Parrish, ICT1|
|Incident Description||The Balsinger And Ellis Fires Are Being Managed As The Divide Complex. Safety Of Fire Personnel And Protection Of Human Life Is The Priority.|
|Coordinates||46.993 latitude, -110.933 longitude|
|Percent of Perimeter Contained||26%|
|Estimated Containment Date||Friday October 29th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM|
Short Grass (1 foot)Timber (Litter and Understory)
Fine fuel moistures will dry today once the cloud cover and moisture from yesterday's rain event moves out of the area, heavy and live fuels are still at critical levels.
With yesterday's precipitation fire behavior will be minimal today. In the morning hours very little fire activity is expected. As fine fuels dry during the day fire behavior will increase but is not expected to be more than minimal.
Point/Structure Protection, make sure livestock has been removed to a secure/safe area. Reassess the fire perimeter to establish new anchor points. Continue to work from and improve established anchor points. Continue preparation work on Divide Road. Establish power and internet access at the Jackson Ranch ICP and complete construction of infrastructure necessary for ICP operations. Begin transition of operations to new ICP.
|Projected Incident Activity|
12 hours: Minimal fire behavior is expected throughout the day, smoldering and creeping fire.
24 hours: With the return to drier conditions fire behavior will increase, expect moderate fire behavior with surface fire; flanking, backing, and possible torching.
IR flights were UTFd due to weather the last 3 nights.
Fog and low clouds slowly lifted through the morning. Daytime heating will drop the RH levels to 25 to 30% this afternoon as temperatures increase. Lingering moisture may allow for isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Expect warmer, drier conditions on Wednesday. Most of the precipitation from 8/2 fell on the east side with over 1" of rain. On the west side had between 0.1" and 0.2" of rain.