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.
Date of Origin:
Saturday, July 31, 2021 8:30 PM MDT
10 miles NE of Butte, MT
(Tim Roide) Great Basin Team 4, Type 2 Team
Estimated Containment Date:
Sunday, October 31, 2021 12:00 AM MDT
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.
Moderate fire behavior with some torching and moderate burning today. Torching with short range spotting was observed along the perimeter in numerous areas. The majority of the growth of the fire is the result of the moderate burning, or flanking, fire and occasional group torching.
Crews will hold and mop-up today's burnout operations on the north and east sides of the fire while monitoring growth toward Elk Park. They will continue to prep indirect line on the west/northwest side of the fire and assess structure protection needs.
Projected Incident Activity:
Pockets of dead/down lodgepole pine will continue actively burning group tree torching in isolated pockets with smoldering and creeping on the majority of the fire. Burnout operations continue with good consumption of fuels in all areas with the exception of north facing slopes where fuels tend to be more shaded.
In the next 24 to 72 hours, increasing winds are expected coupled with unseasonably warm and dry conditions and poor overnight recovery will produce potential for the fire to become more active with growth likely.
Some growth is anticipated after 72 hours, however not as much as seen in previous periods.
The Great Basin Team 4 is also managing the Placer Fire located approximately 6 miles south of the Haystack Fire, over one mile from Whitetail Reservoir. It is 63 acres and 57% contained.
Today unstable air and southwest winds aloft began clearing smoke from the fire. Relative humidity was 35- 40% on the ridges and 15-20% over the fire in the afternoon. Wind gusts of 15-18 mph became common across the fire area around midday. On Sunday, critical fire weather is expected as relative humidity remains less than 20% with gusting winds between 18-22 mph. Poor recoveries are expected with breezy conditions continuing into Monday. A cold front will move through the fire Tuesday afternoon so critical conditions will persist Monday night into Tuesday morning.
Public Information Line Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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