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Current Fire Statistics:
The Hay Creek Fire was reported Wednesday evening, July 21, 2021, approximately 5 miles west of Polebridge, Montana. The fire is being managed for full suppression. Area, roads, and trails closures are in effect. An Evacuation Warning (pre-evacuation) is in place for some properties in the area. To monitor local air quality conditions, visit the Wildfire Smoke Outlook page.
The fire is burning in the Flathead National Forest, west of Glacier National Park. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains just west of the continental divide and south of the Canadian border. The 2.4 million acre Flathead National Forest is home to lynx, grizzly bear, and bull trout; with numerous lakes, streams, and rivers to enjoy, the forest is the premiere destination for visitors looking to experience natural landscapes of the American West.
The Hay Creek Fire is burning in the heart of grizzly bear country in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NDCE). At the time that grizzly bears were listed as a threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act in 1975, the NCDE was identified as an area that supports excellent grizzly bear habitat for the recovery of the population. There are currently between 1000-1100 grizzly bears in the NCDE, with high densities in the Whitefish Range where the Hay Creek Fire is located. Abiding by Flathead National Forest’s bear safety recommendations and food storage orders while in the NCDE is vital to the recovery of the grizzly bear population and human safety. While seeing a bear is a memorable experience, your safety and the survival of bears depends on you keeping your distance. Before you enter bear country, take time to learn about bears and how best to avoid them.
Fire has played a significant role in shaping the local landscape, to learn more check out the Flathead National Forest Fire History Map illustrating major fires in the area from 1980 through current day. The interactive version can be found here. Fire is often thought of as a catastrophic event. In actuality, wildland fires are an essential part of the natural cycle. Many North American ecosystems evolved under the influence of fire. In fact, fire is the most prevalent type of natural disturbance in the Northern Rockies, shaping the landscape for thousands of years. To read more...
It is important to know how to recreate responsibly, Leave No Trace.
Most of Montana is under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Under Stage 2 Restrictions the following are PROHIBITED: Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or stove fire. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or closed of all flammable material. Operating an Internal Combustion Engine (see exemptions).Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame (see exemptions).Read the order linked above for exemptions, a map, and penalties.
The state of Montana hosts the Mtfireinfo.org website posting current fire restriction information by area for the state of Montana. Please use this map as a resource to determine activities that may be restricted where you live and recreate in Montana. When fire restrictions are in effect, the affected area will be highlighted in yellow, orange, or red, depending on the type of restriction in place.
To Protect Your Home from a Wildland Fire:Does your home have the ADDRESS posted at the end of the driveway and on your Home so that emergency responders can find your home? Is the address RELECTIVE so that responders can see the address in the dark, in smoke, or after a snow storm?
The management of the Hay Creek Fire has transitioned to California Interagency Incident Management Team (IMT) 13 led by Incident Commander Michael Wakoski as of 7am on August 1, 2021. The Incident Command Post is based in the West Glacier area. They worked closely with the previous IMT to ensure a smooth transition and are committed to working with the local communities and cooperators.