Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59602
Woods Creek Fire – Update for Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Fire Phone: 406-478-8676
Location: Near Boulder Lakes in the Big Belt Mountains
Start Date: July 10, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.
Size: 7,000 acres
Vegetation: Subapline Fir & Pine
Total Personnel: 30
Resources: Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) is in command, a Type I IMT is enroute and multiple resources ordered
Community Meetings will be held in both Townsend and White Sulphur Springs tonight. Please check the Helena – Lewis and Clark National Forest Facebook page and Inciweb for times and locations.
SUMMARY: The Woods Creek Fire was started by lightning near Boulder Lakes in the Big Belt Mountains. The most notable fire activity was in the Camas Creek drainage but in general, the fire activity was moderated yesterday due to the smoke inversion. A retardant drop was used to reinforce a dozer line behind private property and the Forest Service Cabin, which was successful. The fire has made it down to Trail #139 and is hung up on the ridge along the south flank of the fire. The fire area is in thick, forested area with a lot of dead and down trees. Based on the recon flight yesterday afternoon, the IC has mapped the fire at approximately 7,000 acres. Evacuation orders are in effect for the Upper Duck Creek road, Upper Gurnett Creek road, and Upper Dry Gulch Road. Evacuations remain in effect for Forest Service recreation sites: Thompson Guard Station, Gipsy Lake Campground, and the Atlanta Creek Road. Pre-evacuations remain in effect for the Camas Creek Road, northwest of White Sulphur Springs. FIRE OPERATIONS: Due to poor relative humidity recoveries Tuesday night the fire remained active and activity picked up early this morning as the inversion lifted. Meagher County and White Sulphur Springs Volunteer Fire Department crews and local Initial Attack crews and engines working on the fire will continue prepping structures, creating containment lines, and doing point protection. The firefighters work is being assisted by some heavy equipment and air resources as available from the adjacent fires. CLOSURE: An Area Closure has been implemented and closes a large portion of the central Belt Mountains due to hazardous conditions created by the Woods Creek fire. Generally, the Area Closure is bounded in the north by Wagner Gulch south to the Birch Creek road. An Area Closure restricts all public assess within the bounded area to public use. Please see the attached closure map for full details. WEATHER: High temperatures, low relative humidities are expected again today and stronger shifting winds are possible with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with increased chances into Thursday. Widespread haze is expected this afternoon and late evening. Winds will be 5-11 mph and shifting to the northwest. These changing conditions will create a watchout day for firefighters. SAFETY: The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is currently under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, including the use of charcoal grills. Use of pressurized fuel devices with an on/off switch are acceptable. Formoreinformation visit the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest website under “Alerts and Notices”or visit www.MTFireInfo.org . Visit: www.airnow.gov for more information on air quality near you. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area and this includes Drones. If you fly, we can’t.
COOPERATORS: The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana DNRC, Meagher County, and Broadwater County.