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South Yaak

Unit Information

Kootenai National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
31374 US Hwy 2 Libby Montana 59923
Libby, MT 59923

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Incident Contact

Fire Information
Phone: 208-296-9706
Hours: Everyday 8 am - 8 pm

Highlighted Activity

08/04/2021 Burnt Peak and South Yaak Fires 8/4/2021 Update
There is no change in acres because an infrared flight was not available last night to measure the active fire perimeter. There has been continuous radiant heat over both fires over the past couple...
News - 08/04/2021
8/4/21 South Yaak Fire Progression MapImage options: [ Full Size ]

The South Yaak Fire was detected on July 13, 2021.  It is burning in timbered, steep terrain approximately 4 miles northwest of Troy, Montana. The fire was reported at approximately .25  acres on the south slope of Yaak Mountain. It quickly grew despite heavy initial attack efforts, including support from helicopters and airtankers.  On July 20, Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team #4 took command of the fire.  On July 23, it grew about 400 acres after a log rolled down the slope, scattering embers which quickly turned to flames that ran back up the hill.

The fire presents a challenge due to steep terrain, difficult access, and critically dry vegetation. It is likely to burn until significant moisture covers the fire area.

Team 4 is also managing the Burnt Peak Fire, Resources will be shared between the two fires. A fire camp is located adjacent to Highway 56, south of the junction with Highway 2. Please use caution traveling through the area, as heavy equipment will be entering and leaving the camp, especially in the mornings and evenings. 

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginTuesday July 13th, 2021 approx. 01:00 PM
Location4 Miles NW of Troy, Mt
Incident CommanderTracy Dunford, Great Basin Team #6
Coordinates48.551 latitude, -115.93 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel164
Size9,290 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained10%
Estimated Containment DateThursday September 30th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Dead and down fuels are extremely dry and receptive. ERCs are back up to historical maximum values for this time of year. Dense timber stands and areas of recent helicopter logging operations with a light load of remaining slash fuels leftover. Live fuel moistures have decreased significantly in the last couple of weeks.

Significant Events

Fire behavior was minimal to moderate with backing, flanking, and slow upslope spread over much of the fire area. Isolated torching and short range spotting did occur in some areas.


Planned Actions

Identify and suppress spot fires from rollout overnight along completed firelines. Maintain firing operations to keep up with fire progression to the north on the east and west flanks of the fire. Utilize heavy equipment to prep O'Brien road on the south flank as indirect line and to continue construction on the fuel break south of 17 Mile Creek developments. Prepare to implement evacuation plans in coordination with local emergency management.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Minimal to Moderate fire behavior with isolated torching, flanking, and backing due to current weather conditions.

24 hours: Minimal to Moderate fire behavior with isolated torching, flanking, and backing due to current weather conditions.


GB Team 6 is also managing the Burnt Peak fire.

On the week of July 25, the sheriff enacted an evacuation order for Kilbrennan Lake Road and East Side Road that recently was expanded.

All residences should be Ready to go in the event of a wildfire. Visit

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Good overnight humidity recovery was observed this morning with both the valleys and ridges sitting at 70%+. An abundance of smoke and low clouds were present this morning in the valleys and midslopes.

Throughout the day we saw temperatures recover from the cooler day on Monday reaching the 90s in the valleys and 80s on ridges. The inversion never fully broke keeping the smoke and obstructed visibility present around the incident. A couple more warm and dry days are expected for the middle of the week before we cool off with a series of incoming Pacific weather systems for the tail end of this week into next. This pattern change will usher in cooler air, breezy winds and a chance for some rain showers.