Wildfire Incident Report

Prepared: Friday, October 22, 2021 12:37:48 AM MDT

Wildfire Incident Report

Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center
La Grande, OR, USA
Incident #
FWAC Incident ID
Incident Name
Haystack Fire
Last Updated
Friday, October 22, 2021 12:01 AM MDT
(36 mins, 38 secs ago)
Fire Reported
Saturday, July 31, 2021 2:30 PM MDT
(2 months ago)
Incident Type
12.2 miles NE of Butte, MT
Current Weather
Fire Growth Potential
Fire Weather Forecast
Incident Overview

The Dillon Interagency Dispatch received a report of a possible fire start near Haystack Mountain to the east of I-15 between the communities of Butte and Basin on July 31, 2021. Helicopters provided bucket drops in the fire area. Agency administrators and fire leadership initially determined the area to be unsafe for ground crews due to large boulders, steep slopes, a large number of snags, difficult terrain, and no safe locations to insert or extract crews.

On September 6, the fire spotted (threw embers)into a continuous pocket of timber to the east near Little Boulder Park. Crews at this time began taking actions to protect private in-holdings and structures in the area. Crews are now able to safely engage some of the fire from the ground and are being supported by aircraft.

Burnout operations are ongoing on the northeast side of the fire to reduce the risk to private property and structures south of Boulder. 

Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team #4 assumed command of the fire on September 22.  

Incident Type
Date of Origin
Saturday July 31st, 2021 approx. 08:30 PM
11 miles NE of Butte, MT
Incident Commander
(Shane Martin) BDNF, Type 3 Team
46.117, -112.335
Total Personnel
Size (Acres)
Estimated Containment Date
Sunday October 31st, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved
Timber (litter and understory) and brush (2 feet). Significant mountain pine beetle mortality in lodgepole pine from a 20 year old epidemic has created significant dead and downed pockets primarily in the upper elevations. Mid elevations are a mix of nearly pure Douglas-fir and pockets of mixed conifer with a brush understory. Many areas have large granitic boulders with both dead and live (mostly cured at this point in the year) fuels which are difficult to suppress. Lower elevations transition to areas of heavily grazed grass/sage and pockets of Douglas-fir and juniper which transition into nearly completely grass fuels on the valley bottom.
Significant Events
Approximately 0.2" of precipitation have occurred over areas of the fire. Minimal creeping and smoldering fire activity is occurring over limited portions of the fire.
Planned Actions
If needed, firing operations may continue to protect values at risk along indirect lines on the northwest side.

Crews will hold and secure the north and east sides and are prepared to implement structure protection and support local initial attack while cleaning up fire protection equipment where no longer needed.

Fire personnel will continue to document fire suppression repair progress and needs.
Projected Incident Activity
Projected Fire activity for the following time frames. In the next:

12 hours: At the heel of the fire backing and flanking. The southern flank will continue to smolder. Interior islands will produce minimal smoke. On the western flank creeping and smoldering.

24 hours: Creeping, isolated torching, slowly backing and flanking though growth will be diminished due to change in weather.

48 hours: Creeping, isolated torching, slowly backing and flanking though growth will be diminished due to change in weather.

72 hours: Creeping, and smoldering due to change in weather.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Smoldering and creeping due to cool temperatures and potential for snow.
Weather Concerns
Sunday evening through early Tuesday morning there is about a 70 percent chance of 2 inches of snow or more, a 30 percent chance of 4 inches or more, and a 10 percent chance of around 6-8 inches of snow or more.
Incident Contact
Public Information Line
Email: 2021.haystack.mt@firenet.gov
Phone: 406-290-3603
Hours: 0700-1900 daily
Fire Unit Information
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
420 Barrett St
Dillon, MT 59725
Incident Map

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