Crews Quickly Respond to Elbow Pass Fire: Montana Wildfire Update
By Matt Schauer

Posted: July 13, 2012

Montanan’s should expect a very active wildfire season this year.  The Dahl Fire (shown above) started on June 26th from a lightning strike.  It is 22,000 acres and 95 percent contained.  It is burning in grass and sage country.

Smokejumpers and air tankers are attacking the Elbow Pass Fire, in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. It started Thursday afternoon and grew to 200 acres in five hours. It is 24 air miles WSW of Augusta and already pumping smoke into town.   Firefighters are in full suppression mode because of the possibility of rapid growth.


The Chrandal Creek Fire (shown left), 12 miles SW of Lost Trail Ski Resort, on the Montana/Idaho border, is the reason for the smokey-haze in Missoula.  It is currently 1,700 acres with 230 personnal and 160 firefighter working in steep and rugged terrain.  Be aware The Bitterroot National Forest has closed the Mine Creek Road #5688 at the junction of Hughes Creek Road # 9630.  Also residences in the upper Hughes Creek area have been warned they may need to evacuate if the fire continues to come closer.

The Black Tail Fire is the first lightning caused fire in Yellowstone National Park this year.  It started on Thursday and is currently 15 acres.

The Bear Trap Fire was human caused.  It started June 25th and has burned 15,000 acres, 20 miles northeast of Ennis, in mostly timber and grass areas.

The Southeastern Montana Complex is a group of fires that are all 100 percent contained and in mop-up stages.

  • Ash Creek – 249,562 (100% contained)
  • Taylor Creek – 62,134 (100% contained)
  • Horse Creek – 7,575 (100% contained)
  • Powerline – 5,265 (100% contained)
  • Coal Seam – 527 (100% contained)
  • Total Complex acres – 325,063


Follow this LINK to see all fire restrictions for Montana.