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Divide Complex-Ellis 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This incident is no longer being updated.

Map shows location and extent of Divide Complex - Balsinger and Ellis Fires for 7/26/2021Image options: [ Full Size ]

Notice: the incident management team has put the Ellis Fire in patrol status as of August 1, 2021.  Firefighters will continue to monitor this fire as necessary, but additional growth is unlikely.  Unless the status changes, this will be the last post for the Ellis Fire.

The Ellis Fire, which is being managed as part of the Divide Complex with the Balsinger Fire, started on July 8, 2021 on the White Sulphur Springs Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest. The cause is under investigation. The fire is located in the Dry Range - East Fork, about 2.5 miles southwest of Smith River.
Management of the Ellis Fire has been transferred back to the Helena-Lewis and Clark (8/12/2021) and has been contained.


  • Do not fly drones over the fire. If you fly, we can't.
  • Please respect road closure. Traffic on closed roads creates safety hazards for firefighters and emergency vehicles.
  • Firefighting resources are extremely limited. It is critically important that we all do our part to prevent additional fire starts by following all campfire restrictions and fire-related closures.
  • The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest and the Custer Gallatin National Forest are under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, which includes the use of charcoal grills. The Custer Gallatin also has restricted campfires in all locations. 

Visit for statewide fire restrictions information.

Please call 911 to report a wildfire.

Follow up on Facebook @HLCNF for the latest updates.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseUnder Investigation
Date of OriginThursday July 08th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Location20 miles NW of White Sulphur Springs
Coordinates46.838 latitude, -111.272 longitude

Current Situation

Size1,220 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained100%
Estimated Containment DateFriday October 29th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Fuels involved are primarily FM 2 (grass with timber litter) and FM 10 timber (heavy conifer with significant dead and down).

Significant Events

Management of the Ellis Fire has been transferred back to the Helena-Lewis and Clark NF (08/12/2021)


Planned Actions

The district fire crew will be monitoring the fire and extinguish visible interior smokes. We will update inciweb if current fire behavior changes.