Skip to main content

Bear Creek Fire

Unit Information

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

USFS Shield

Fire Update: August 28, Morning Update

Bear Creek Fire Wildfire
News – 8/28/2020



August 28, 2020   8:00 a.m.

 Phone:   406-284-5602 (Information line, call or text: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

 406-417-0415 (media line)

DATE OF DETECTION: Tuesday, August 11, 2020

CAUSE:  Lightning

CURRENT SIZE:  11,634 acres (overnight infrared mapping flight)


LOCATION:   Lemhi Pass area (29 miles East of Salmon Idaho)

JURISDICTION:  Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

COOPERATING AGENCIES:  Beaverhead County (MT), Lemhi County (ID), BLM, Montana DNRC, Salmon-Challis National Forest

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE:  Resources officially assigned to the fire include three helicopters, one Type 2 IA crew, and 170 total personnel. Demobilization of resources, including one helicopter, no longer needed will continue this morning as the organization is downsized. Those resources will be available for reassignment to other fires.

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: Crews mopped-up and held the northwest area of the fire.  On the northern, southern, and eastern flanks, crews and heavy equipment worked to complete suppression repair and rehabilitation, pulling back berms and smoothing out the constructed firelines. Light precipitation fell over the fire area overnight.

TODAY’S WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:  The forecast calls for slightly warmer and drier conditions. Fire behavior is expected to be low to moderate, with isolated torching, smoldering along the edges, and interior burn-out of larger fuels. In the Bear Creek drainage and previously burned out areas, there is still potential for residual heat and fire activity, despite the couple days of cooler weather. Winds over the fire area are highly variable due to topographic features, outflows associated with passing thunderstorms, and the proximity to the Continental Divide. Saturday’s weather will continue with the warmer and drier pattern, followed by a dry cold front on Sunday.

TODAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY:  Crews will continue with similar operations as in previous days; the majority of resources will be working to coordinate and complete suppression repair and rehabilitation with resource advisors and landowners. Northern Rockies Team 5 will officially transfer command of the fire back to the Forest on Monday, August 31st.

SPECIAL CONCERNS: Public and firefighter safety concerns are the top priority. Hunters should check Inciweb and/or call for closure information and maps. The fire is burning in timber/heavy fuels. These fuels will continue to dry out with low relative humidity. The area provides poor access and there is a lack of water in the immediate area of the fire. Crews will work to protect cultural and natural resources and other values at risk.

CLOSURES:  Refer to the “Closures” and “Photos” tabs of the Inciweb site for narrative descriptions and maps of all agency closures. Officials in Montana and Idaho are coordinating to lift the Lemhi Pass Road closure, effective at 6:00 a.m. Saturday, August 29th. Area closures are still in effect; agencies are meeting to discuss any modifications and/or rescissions for the near future.

For more information, visit

 or follow the Forest on Facebook at or Twitter