Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59602
HORSEFLY FIRE UPDATE FOR: August 19th & 20th
Public Information Line: (406) 750-8934
Public Inquiry Email: 2019.Horsefly@firenet.gov
Incident Commander: Shane Martin, Western Montana Type 3 Team
Horsefly - https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6502/
The Horsefly Fire became active on August 6, 2019, and within 24 hours had grown to 1274 acres. It is situated in densely timbered steep terrain with a heavy load of beetle killed fuels, southwest and east of Lincoln, Montana. While fire activity has decreased significantly, fire spread is still possible. Fuels continue to smolder, although visible spots of smoke have been rarely observed in the past 24 hours. Shane Martin’s Central Montana Type 3 Incident Management Team remains in command of this incident.
Horsefly Fire Size: Approximately 1,350 acres Containment: 55% Cause: Unknown Location: 15 miles east of Lincoln Structures destroyed: 0 Fire updates are now posted every 48 hours unless there are significant changes. The Incident Command Post moved to Lincoln, MT, and is operating from the Lincoln Ranger District effective 8:00 am, August 18th. Heavy equipment crews began a check line from the fire’s Northeastern perimeter toward MT Highway 279. This check line will give firefighters a safe point to engage the fire should activity increase with our warmer forecasted weather. Once this check line is complete, fire managers will assess to see if an additional check line should be constructed off the fire’s Northcentral perimeter toward MT Highway 279 to reinforce defensible line if fire activity increases. Two fire crews will continue to patrol the fire perimeter, engage hotspots where exposure is minimized, and mop-up containment lines. Firefighter and public safety remain the number one priority in wildland fire suppression efforts.
Communities Impacted: Residences in Flesher Acres. Evacuations and Closures: Portions of the Helena – Lewis and Clark Forest are closed to the public – please check the closures tab at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6502/50141/. A new forest closure which modified the initial Horsefly Fire closure area was released on August 13, 2019. US Highway 279 is closed to bicycle traffic from the intersection of Montana Highway 200 to Stemple Pass Road. Due to the proximity of the fire to the Continental Divide Trail, the Forest Service has rerouted users of the CDT. Northbound, users exit the trail at Marysville Road. Continue north on MT Hwy 279. Take Stemple Pass Road to Lincoln. Travel east of MT Hwy 200 to rejoin the trail north of Mike Horse Creek Road. Southbound users should do the reverse. Weather & Fuel Conditions: The fire area is experiencing a warming and drying trend. Nighttime temperatures are expected to be in the mid 40s with daytime highs rising through Wednesday into the 80s. Winds are predicted light to moderate through Wednesday at which time another frontal system is forecasted to come through bringing the possibility of Thunderstorms and erratic winds. Relative humidity will drop with the warmer weather to 33–37 percent. Temporary Flight Restrictions: Temporary flight restrictions (TFR) are no longer in effect around the entire fire area, however, any member of the public that intends to fly a drone in the area is strongly encouraged to closely follow this fire’s Inciweb page for TFR announcements. Announcements: Please refer to Inciweb for the most up-to-date Continental Divide Trail closures and reroute information.