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Dry Cabin

Unit Information

Lolo National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
24 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804

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Dry Cabin Fire update, September 15th, 2021

Dry Cabin Wildfire
News – 9/15/2021

Quick Facts:

  • Location: 20 miles north of Ovando, MT, in the Lolo National Forest 
  • Detected: July 11, 2021
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Legal Description: T18N, R11W, Sec. 36 (PB51) Lat/Long: Lat. 47.278, Long. 112.956
  • Current size: 3,460 acres 
  • Containment: 0%
  • Ownership/Jurisdiction: Flathead National Forest and Lolo National Forest
  • Other cooperators: Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest

Fire Summary:The Dry Cabin Fire is located within the Scapegoat Wilderness on the Lolo National Forest. Managers are conducting fire management actions with the safety of fire personnel and the public as the number one priority. Fires in the area have a history of high intensity crown runs after long periods of low fire behavior. Fire personnel will use the prior 1988 Canyon Creek wildfire disturbance to aid in their strategy by using the area’s extensive lodgepole sapling tree regrowth that has proven to slow the current fire spread and overall fire behavior. The greatest fire activity occurred when mature timber initially burned the first week. As seen in many of these second and third entry fires, the landscape is less likely to sustain extensive stand replacement fire runs in comparison to continuous stands of mature timber.  The opportunity to use the confine and contain, along with point protection strategies helps to reduce unnecessary exposure of fire personnel to hazards, as well as overall cost. A portion of the 40-year BMWC fire history map is attached, showing fires mostly managed for resource benefit, that are proving effective today.Current Situation:

Throughout the hot and windy weather over the last week, the Dry Cabin Fire camera showed little activity, with a few small puffs of interior, light smokes puffing up during the heat of the day.  Fire managers have begun discussions on unwrapping the Forest Service back county cabins, lifting the area and trail closures, and delegating the Dry Cabin Fire back to the local Seeley Lake Ranger District. Tomorrow morning at 8am, fire managers will meet to make decisions on those discussions and likely, one last email will be sent out tomorrow. Occasional updates may still be shared on Facebook and Inciweb as notable changes occur. The predicted weather for the next week will be bringing slightly cooler, fall-like temperatures, cloudy skies with slight chances of daily showers and chilly morning temperatures.

Area and Trail Closures:

For public safety, area closures are in place. Lolo National Forest Dry Fork area: affected closed trails include Dry Fork and upper Dry Fork #31 (all segments) at North Fork Cabin, Whiskey Cutoff #369, Cabin Creek #80, and Dwight Creek #414 and Canyon Creek #16 at the wilderness boundary. The main North Fork Trail #32 is OPEN, but #377 Sarbo Creek and the upper portions of Hobnail Tom #32.2 and Evans Peak #361 are CLOSED. Flathead National Forest Danaher area: affected closed trails include the Eastside South Fork Trail #126 from junction with Rapid Creek #142 south to boundary with Lolo National Forest, including connecting trails Alloy Creek #265, Calf Creek #277, Spring Creek #144, Bar Creek #140, Limestone Pass #143, Blackfoot Divide #278.  Alternate routes include Stadler Pass to Benchmark, Jenny Creek/Youngs Pass to Lodgepole TH, and Youngs Creek via Pyramid Pass to Pyramid TH.

General Information:

Many secondary trails are not cleared due to heavy blowdown, contact local offices for trail updates. Exercise caution traveling in the backcountry; pay attention to fire activity, wind and weather, especially in the afternoons when fire activity is highest. The Lolo and Flathead National Forest have no fire restrictions currently, however, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest will remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions. Please visit www.MTFireInfo.org for fire restriction information. Information for this incident will be updated weekly on Wednesday's. Posting at Info Boards will occur as personnel are available. Please visit the Incident Information System (InciWeb) for the most up to date information https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7660/.

Trail Condition Contact Information
Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex Ranger Districts

Flathead National Forest

Hungry Horse/ Glacier View Ranger District (406) 387-3800

Spotted Bear Ranger District (406) 758-5376

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

Rocky Mountain Ranger District (406) 466-5341

Lincoln Ranger District (406) 362-7000

Lolo National Forest

Seeley Lake Ranger District (406) 677-2233