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.
The lightning-caused American Fork Fire started on July 17, 2021 in the northeast Crazy Mountains, 24 miles southwest of Harlowtown. 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 picking up spot fires and also aiding in suppression efforts. Crews are also working on structure protection to the south of the fire.
Hot and dry conditions continue across the area with near red flag conditions. Active to extreme fire behavior is expected, with substantial growth possible.
Area closures, including trail closures, are in place. Please see the map for more details.
|Current as of|
|Date of Origin||Saturday July 17th, 2021 approx. 06:30 AM|
|Location||24 miles SW of Harlowton, MT|
|Incident Commander||Steve Parrish, ICT1|
|Incident Description||24 Miles Southwest Of Harlowton, Montana|
|Coordinates||46.165 latitude, -110.248 longitude|
|Percent of Perimeter Contained||10%|
|Estimated Containment Date||Friday October 15th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM|
Short Grass (1 foot)Timber (Litter and Understory)
Fuels involved are primarily FM 2 (grass with timber litter) and FM 10 timber (heavy conifer with significant dead and down). 1 hour fuels at 5% today. 1000 hour fuels at 7%. Live fuels at 115% ERC values above 97th percentile.
Minimal behavior. Backing, creeping, and smoldering.
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.
The primary focus for tomorrow will continue to be structure protection for the Shields Creek Drainage area. Hold constructed line along eastern perimeter. Continue to use aviation resource to pick up spots and aid in structure protection on the western side of the fire. Long term planning with the CGF.
|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.
A public meeting is scheduled to be held in Melville on 8/3.
Infrared flights have been UTFed for the past three nights due to weather conditions.
The western side of the fire received over 1" of rain while the eastern side received approximately 0.1".
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.