Woods Creek
27.8 mi
E of Montana City, MT
Fire Status:
Last Updated:
15 mins, 16 secs ago
Incident #:
Fire Start:
Saturday, July 10, 2021 2:45 PM MDT
Primary Fire Agency

US Forest Service — Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest

Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview Updated: 1 day, 21 hours ago

Incident Photo for the Woods Creek Fire

The lightning-caused Woods Creek Fire was discovered on Saturday, July 10th near Boulder Lakes in the Big Belt Mountains. Management was assumed by a Type 3 Incident Management Team (or IMT) from Nevada. The Type 1 Southern Area Red IMT was next, and they had command of the Woods Creek, Balsinger, Ellis and American Fork Fires. On August 12th, Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the Balsinger, American Fork, and Woods Creek Fires. Following was the FDNY Type 2 Incident Management Team which managed the Balsinger and Woods Creek Fires. Lastly, the Balsinger Fire is going back to management by the local Forest Service district, and a Type 3 IMT under the leadership of Martinez is assuming command of the Woods Creek Fire.

At 90 % contained as of August 31st, the majority of the uncontained area of the Woods Creek Fire is in steep inaccessible terrain. Likely the fire will not be deemed completely out until a season ending event occurs. Suppression repair work continues along the fire containment lines and contingency lines on both Forest and private land to prevent soil erosion.

Please respect the Woods Creek Fire Area Closure; it is there for both firefighter and public safety. Despite recent moisture and very little visible smoke, pockets inside the fire area could continue to burn until a season-ending event. Please contact the Townsend Ranger District for alternative locations to hunt and recreate on the forest.

Starting September 1st, there will be no more fire updates. Inciweb will be updated if a significant change in fire behavior or activity occurs.

Basic Information

Incident Type:
Date of Origin:
Saturday, July 10, 2021 12:00 AM MDT
16 miles NE of Townsend, MT
Incident Commander:
Mike Long, Ana Avery (T); Type IV team
Incident Description:
46.553, -111.356

Current Situation

Total Personnel:
Size (Acres):
Estimated Containment Date:
Sunday, October 31, 2021 12:00 AM MDT
Fuels Involved:
Short Grass (1 foot)
Timber (Litter and Understory)
Brush (2 feet)

Fuels are primarily heavy forest litter with a shrub or small tree understory including mortality fuels. Grass fuels in open stands and meadows.
Significant Events:

Fire is burning in mixed conifer, pine and grass. Primarily smoldering with some creeping occurring.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions:
Confine fire to Forest Service lands to protect and limit impacts to adjacent landowner property and values at risk, to include private properties east of HWY 284 and south Confederate Gulch to the North Fork of Cabin Gulch and properties east of the forest boundary along Benton Gulch, Camas Creek, Birch
Creek, and Grassy Mountain to the south. Continue Suppression Repair Operations in conjunction with ongoing fire suppression operations when feasible.

As of September 13, a Burned Area Emergency Response team has started to assess the effects of post fire risk to values on the ground.

Separate BAER page has been established to document progress.
Projected Incident Activity:
Heavy fuels will continue to support burning with limited spread potential. Could see occasional isolated individual tree torching.
Ownership breakdown:

Broadwater County
USFS - Helena-Lewis & Clark 13,116 acres, Private 3,562 acres, State 651 acres, BLM 71 acres.

Meagher County
USFS-Helena-Lewis & Clark 24,413 acres, Private 13,585 acres, State 484 acres.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns:
Sept 23 - Seasonal temps and moderate winds will persist over the fire area
through the week. Humidity will see poor overnight recovery.
Forecasted weak cold fronts could bring strong west winds over the
weekend into the week.

Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Townsend Ranger District
Phone: 406-266-3425
Hours: M-F 8am - 4:30 pm (excludes holidays)
Fire Unit Information
Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59602

Dispatch Contact

Helena Interagency Dispatch Center | Helena, MT