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Divide Complex-Balsinger Fire

Unit Information

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

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This incident is no longer being updated.

Balsinger Fire Map 09-01-2021Image options: [ Full Size ]

The lightning-caused Balsinger Fire started approximately 5 miles west of Neihart, MT on July 8th, 2021, and was initially managed by a local Type 3 team. The Type 3 the Albuquerque Zone Incident Management Team (or IMT) assumed command of the Balsinger and Ellis Fires, which were under the name Divide Complex. The Type 2 Southern Area Gold Team followed, and they also incorporated management of the American Fork. The Type 1 Southern Area Red Team was next, and they incorporated management of the Woods Creek Fire. On August 12th, Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the Balsinger, American Fork, and Woods Creek Fires, and under them management of the Ellis Fire was given back to the local ranger district. Following was the Albuquerque Zone Type 3 IMT for command of the American Fork Fire, and the FDNY Type 2 Incident Management Team for the Balsinger and Woods Creek Fires. Lastly, the Balsinger Fire is going back to management by the local Forest Service district, and a Type 3 IMT under the leadership of Martinez is assuming command of the Woods Creek Fire.

At 77 % contained as of August 19th, the majority of the uncontained area of the Balsinger Fire is in steep inaccessible terrain. Likely the fire will not be deemed completely out until a season ending event occurs. Suppression repair work continues along the fire containment lines and contingency lines on both Forest and private land to prevent soil erosion.

Please respect the Balsinger Fire Area Closure; it is there for both firefighter and public safety. Despite recent moisture and very little visible smoke, pockets inside the fire area could continue to burn until a season-ending event. Please contact the Belt Creek-White Sulphur Springs Ranger District for alternative locations to hunt and recreate on the forest.

Starting September 1st, there will be no more fire updates. Inciweb will be updated on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday basis as the conditions require.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday July 08th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Location5 miles west of Neihart, MT
Incident CommanderRobert Joe Hanson
Incident DescriptionBalsinger Fire
Coordinates46.993 latitude, -110.933 longitude

Current Situation

Size8,584 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained100%
Estimated Containment DateFriday October 29th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Short Grass (1 foot)

Timber (Grass and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Fuels are primarily heavy forest litter and with a shrub or small tree understory including mortality fuels. Grass fuels in open stands and meadows.

Significant Events

Minimal activity.

Fire is burning in mixed conifer pine and grass. Primarily smoldering with some creeping occurring.


Planned Actions

Continue suppression repair plan across all jurisdictions in cooperation READs so that all objectives can be achieved. Remove all excess material and equipment. Update all suppression repair progress in Collector as needed.

Projected Incident Activity

Creeping and smoldering fire, very limited potential for fire spread.


Inciweb will no longer be updated Mon-Wed-Fri. We will be update inciweb if significant changes occur.