Skip to main content

Haystack Fire

Unit Information

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
420 Barrett St
Dillon, MT 59725

USFS Shield

This incident is no longer being updated.

Updated Fire Progression MapImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Dillon Interagency Dispatch received a report of a possible fire start near Haystack Mountain to the east of I-15 between the communities of Butte and Basin on July 31, 2021. Helicopters provided bucket drops in the fire area. Agency administrators and fire leadership initially determined the area to be unsafe for ground crews due to large boulders, steep slopes, a large number of snags, difficult terrain, and no safe locations to insert or extract crews.

On September 6, the fire spotted (threw embers)into a continuous pocket of timber to the east near Little Boulder Park. Crews at this time began taking actions to protect private in-holdings and structures in the area. Crews are now able to safely engage some of the fire from the ground and are being supported by aircraft.

Burnout operations are ongoing on the northeast side of the fire to reduce the risk to private property and structures south of Boulder. 

Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team #4 assumed command of the fire on September 22.  

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSaturday July 31st, 2021 approx. 08:30 PM
Location11 miles NE of Butte, MT
Incident Commander(Shane Martin) BDNF, Type 3 Team
Coordinates46.117 latitude, -112.335 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel97
Size24,011 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained93%
Fuels Involved

Timber (litter and understory) and brush (2 feet). Significant mountain pine beetle mortality in lodgepole pine from a 20 year old epidemic has created significant dead and downed pockets primarily in the upper elevations. Mid elevations are a mix of nearly pure Douglas-fir and pockets of mixed conifer with a brush understory. Many areas have large granitic boulders with both dead and live (mostly cured at this point in the year) fuels which are difficult to suppress. Lower elevations transition to areas of heavily grazed grass/sage and pockets of Douglas-fir and juniper which transition into nearly completely grass fuels on the valley bottom.

Significant Events

Approximately 0.2" of precipitation have occurred over areas of the fire. Minimal creeping and smoldering fire activity is occurring over limited portions of the fire.


Planned Actions

If needed, firing operations may continue to protect values at risk along indirect lines on the northwest side.

Crews will hold and secure the north and east sides and are prepared to implement structure protection and support local initial attack while cleaning up fire protection equipment where no longer needed.

Fire personnel will continue to document fire suppression repair progress and needs.

Projected Incident Activity

Projected Fire activity for the following time frames. In the next:

12 hours: At the heel of the fire backing and flanking. The southern flank will continue to smolder. Interior islands will produce minimal smoke. On the western flank creeping and smoldering.

24 hours: Creeping, isolated torching, slowly backing and flanking though growth will be diminished due to change in weather.

48 hours: Creeping, isolated torching, slowly backing and flanking though growth will be diminished due to change in weather.

72 hours: Creeping, and smoldering due to change in weather.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Smoldering and creeping due to cool temperatures and potential for snow.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Sunday evening through early Tuesday morning there is about a 70 percent chance of 2 inches of snow or more, a 30 percent chance of 4 inches or more, and a 10 percent chance of around 6-8 inches of snow or more.