South Yaak
6.6 mi
NNW of Troy, MT
Fire Status:
Last Updated:
48 mins, 53 secs ago
Incident #:
Fire Start:
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 7:00 AM MDT

Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview Updated: 10 hours, 3 mins ago

Incident Photo for the South Yaak Fire

The South Yaak Fire was detected on July 13, 2021.  It is burning in timbered, steep terrain approximately 4 miles northwest of Troy, Montana. The fire was reported at approximately .25  acres on the south slope of Yaak Mountain. It quickly grew despite heavy initial attack efforts, including support from helicopters and airtankers.  On July 20, Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team #4 took command of the fire.  On July 23, it grew about 400 acres after a log rolled down the slope, scattering embers which quickly turned to flames that ran back up the hill.

The fire presents a challenge due to steep terrain, difficult access, and critically dry vegetation. It is likely to burn until significant moisture covers the fire area.

Team 4 is also managing the Burnt Peak Fire, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7619/. Resources will be shared between the two fires. A fire camp is located adjacent to Highway 56, south of the junction with Highway 2. Please use caution traveling through the area, as heavy equipment will be entering and leaving the camp, especially in the mornings and evenings. 

Basic Information

Incident Type:
Date of Origin:
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 1:00 PM MDT
4 Miles NW of Troy, Mt
Incident Commander:
Tracy Dunford, Great Basin Team #6
Incident Description:
48.551, -115.93

Current Situation

Total Personnel:
Size (Acres):
Estimated Containment Date:
Thursday, September 30, 2021 12:00 AM MDT
Fuels Involved:
Dead and down fuels are extremely dry and receptive. ERCs are back up to historical maximum values for this time of year. Dense timber stands and areas of recent helicopter logging operations with a light load of remaining slash fuels leftover. Live fuel moistures have decreased significantly in the last couple of weeks.
Significant Events:
Fire behavior was minimal to moderate with backing, flanking, and slow upslope spread over much of the fire area. Isolated torching and short range spotting did occur in some areas.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions:
Identify and suppress spot fires from rollout overnight along completed firelines. Maintain firing operations to keep up with fire progression to the north on the east and west flanks of the fire. Utilize heavy equipment to prep indirect line along the O'Brien Road on the east and south flank. Continue construction on the fuel break south of Seventeen Mile Creek developments and along the Eastside Road to enhance future containment opportunities. Prepare to implement evacuation plans in coordination with local emergency management.
Projected Incident Activity:
12 hours: Moderate fire behavior with torching, flanking, and backing due to current weather conditions.

24 hours: Moderate to active fire behavior with backing and flanking in the western and northwestern portion of the fire. Torching, uphill runs, and spotting expected.
GB Team 6 is also managing the Burnt Peak fire.

On the week of July 25, the sheriff enacted an evacuation order for Kilbrennan Lake Road and East Side Road. Residences in Pine Creek, 17 Mile Creek, and Sylvanite are on pre-evacuation notice.

All residences should be Ready to go in the event of a wildfire. Visit http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/forestry/fire-and-aviation/fire-prevention-and-preparedness.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns:
Above normal temperatures with low relative humidity quickly returned to the incident as moisture evaporated from weekend rain. Smoke diminished as we progressed through the day giving way to mostly sunny skies by afternoon. Enough moisture aloft allowed for afternoon cumulus clouds to develop with a few showers popping around NW Montana. Tomorrow will feature more showers and storms around the region, but the best shot is expected south of the incident. If storms would be in close proximity, gusty outflow winds could be a concern. Friday onward brings significant changes to the weather pattern as a couple Pacific systems roll through the region. As of now, much of the moisture will avoid the incident bringing mainly cooler temperatures, gusty winds, higher humidity and a chance for rain. These conditions will lead to concerns mainly due to the increased winds and limited chances for meaningful rainfall.

Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Fire Information
Email: 2021.BurntPeak@firenet.gov
Phone: 208-296-9706
Hours: Everyday 8 am - 8 pm
Fire Unit Information
Kootenai National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
31374 US Hwy 2 Libby Montana 59923
Libby, MT 59923