What: Wildland Fire Location: 25 miles southwest of Ashland, MT Started: Saturday, June 18, 2016 Current Size: 1,475 acres Containment: 70% Cause: Lightning Total Personnel: 127 Ownership: Private and Bureau of Land Management land
Current Situation: The fire continued to burn and smolder overnight within the fires perimeter. Today, crews and heavy equipment will continue to secure containment lines and mop-up deeper into the interior in preparation of forecasted Red Flag Warning. The helicopter will assist crews with this effort.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for SE Montana and NW Wyoming for hot and dry and windy conditions with isolated thunderstorms this afternoon. Gusty winds will occur near thunderstorms, which could create erratic fire behavior. Dry lightning is also forecasted and could produce more fire starts.
Summary: A lookout tower reported the fire on Saturday at 12:48pm. Firefighters from Rosebud County, Powder River County, BLM and US Forest Service (USFS) were immediately dispatched for initial attack. The fire started on private land and moved to BLM. Steep terrain and thick Juniper trees accelerated fire growth on Saturday and Sunday. The vegetation is primarily Juniper with mixed Ponderosa, grass, and brush.
The Department of Natural Resource and Conservation County Assist Team (DNRC), Incident Commander, David Hamilton assumed command and management of the Wall fire Monday. The team, in partnership with federal and local agencies, is implementing a full suppression strategy to put the fire out as safely and quickly as possible.
Current resources on the fire: 6 Engines, 1 Water Tender, 2 Dozers, 2 Hotshot crews (IHC), 1 Type II Initial Attack Crew (T2IA), 6 Smokejumpers, 2 Heli-attack Crews, 2 Helicopter and 33 Overhead. These resources are from the following agencies: USFS Yellowstone Smokejumpers; USFS Helena IHC; USFS Lolo IHC; USFS Idaho Panhandle T2IA; Red Lodge Fire; Columbus Fire; DNRC; and BLM.
Special Concerns: Taking extra steps to prevent a wildfire from starting is critical. Hot temperatures, dry vegetation and forecasted weather greatly increase the chance of ignition. Fire season has started and firefighting resources are in demand across the US, by preventing one fire we can further protect firefighters, residents and public and private lands.
Have water, fire extinguisher and equipment on-hand when harvesting. Check trailer tires and chains when towing. Never leave a burn pile or campfire unattended.