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American Fork 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This incident is no longer being updated.

Burn Intensity Map for American Fork FireImage options: [ Full Size ]

 The lightning-caused American Fork Fire started on July 17, 2021 in the northeast Crazy Mountains, 24 miles southwest of Harlowton, Montana. This fire has been separated from the Divide Complex, and was under the command of the Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Team, led by Incident Commander Zach Saavedra, from August 22, to August 29. As of, August 29th, it was returned to a local Forest Service Type 4 organization. The IC is Wes Woodrome, with Greg Daniels as trainee. Repair efforts continue on the American Fork fire. Activity is moving more to mechanized equipment, repairing roads, and damage done by suppression actions. Tree felling will still continue as needed, supporting the repair. Preparations are being made for re-seeding the areas effected by suppression. The Baer Team, led by Dale White, has been assisting in coordinating activities. The incident will continue “right-sizing” as necessary to maintain financial responsibility while keeping production. As of the 1st, the Martinsdale information board will be dismantled. There are tentative plans to take down the PIO trapline after the 6th.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSaturday July 17th, 2021 approx. 06:30 AM
Location24 miles SW of Harlowton, MT
Incident CommanderWes Woodrome and Greg Daniels (T) Custer Gallatin Type 4
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates46.165 latitude, -110.248 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel37
Size21,892 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained76%
Estimated Containment DateFriday October 15th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Short Grass (1 foot)

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Fuels are primarily mixed conifer with timber litter and understory fuels. Grass fuels in open stands and meadows.

Significant Events



Planned Actions

Confine the fire to Forest Service lands where possible to protect private property and critical infrastructure, the community of Wilsall, and private structures located in Shields River, Smith Creek, and

East Smith Creek drainages.

Coordinate with READs to protect Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the upper Shields River drainage, as well as Crandall

Creek and Porcupine Cabins.

Hold dozer line and hand line

around fire edge. Continue

mopping up areas of concern.

Continue suppression repair of

indirect Dozer and handline.

Fell hazard trees along fireline.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours:

No heat detected, no expected fire movement.

24 hours:

No heat detected, no expected fire movement.

48 hours:

No heat detected, no expected fire movement.

72 hours:

No heat detected, no expected fire movement.


Ownership Acreage Breakdown:

Park County: Private 1,221; Custer-Gallatin NF 7,714; Helena-Lewis and Clark NF 1,705.

Meagher County: Private 163; Custer-Gallatin NF 2,443; Helena Lewis and Clark NF 1,350.

Sweet Grass County: Private 2,427; Custer-Gallatin NF 2,350; Helena-Lewis and Clark NF 2,503.

The Big Elk Creek Trail is closed. Road, trail and

area closures are in effect. A Forest closure order

for a major portion of the Helena-Lewis and


Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Cool conditions with increasing clouds will give way to the potential

for showers and a thunderstorm or two overnight Thursday into

early Friday morning. Cool conditions will continue into Friday and

early Saturday as increased cloud cover passes through with a weak

disturbance. Warmer, drier and windier conditions build in over the

coming weekend and last through at least the first half of next