Public meeting planned for Monument, Wigwam fires burning in Gravelly mountains

Posted at 2:38 PM, Aug 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-12 16:38:50-04

Wildfire officials are holding a public meeting Sunday evening to release more information about the Monument and Wigwam fires burning in the Gravelly mountains.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Fire Station No. 3, at 74 Fish Hatchery Road in Ennis.

Here’s a look at the latest information provided by the US Forest Service:

  • Monument Fire – The lightning-caused Monument Fire detected on Aug. 6, is currently about 1,500 acres and is in the head of Ruby Creek, roughly 18 miles SW of Cameron in the Gravelly Mountains.  Earlier on Sunday, the fire was estimated to be at 2,000 acres, but the number has been revised by the Forest Service. The north end of the fire has burned into Clover Meadows. The fire is burning in whitebark pine and sub-alpine fir, with approximately 70% mortality, at an elevation of 9,000 feet.
  • Wigwam Fire – The lightning-caused Wigwam Fire detected on August 11, 2018, quickly grew to 100 acres.   It is located in the Wigwam drainage. With the passage of yesterday’s cold front, both fires were active. A Unified Command of Forest Service and Madison County has been established to manage both fires. Resources currently on scene include 5 engines, 2 water tenders, and 20 firefighters.   A Type 2 Incident Command Team has been ordered along with multiple pieces of heavy equipment.
  • Evacuations – A portion of the Haypress Lakes subdivision was evacuated this morning.  The Ennis High School has been established as a Red Cross evacuation center.  There is currently an Evacuation Order for the Haypress Lakes road and Boiler springs from the Y (in the road) to the west (BLM).  There is also an Evacuation Warning from the Y (in the road) southeast to the Shining Mt. Subdivision.
  • Closures – The Johnny Ridge and Gravelly Range roads are closed through to Black Butte.  Additional closures will be forthcoming.
  • Currently, fire personnel are working to assess areas where lightning activity was high to determine if there are any new wildfires.  As these new fires are detected, fire managers will develop a strategy to suppress these fires.
  • Fire restrictions are not in effect on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, however, people are encouraged to keep informed of other area restrictions by going online to
  • Fire Activity and Smoke: Currently, there are 57 uncontained large fires in the nation, which are filtering smoke into the valleys of Montana. Further information on smoke can be found in the MT Department of Environmental Quality’s web page at