WeatherWildfire Watch


Monument, Wigwam Fire activity slows after burning nearly 10K acres combined

Posted at 11:07 PM, Aug 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 01:07:28-04

The two fires burning in the Gravelly Range near Ennis saw decreased fire activity over the weekend, after growing to nearly 10,000 acres combined.

Monument Fire

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest officials said in a Sunday fire update that a weekend weather pattern bringing cooler temperatures and higher humidity significantly moderated fire activity.

The Monument Fire stands at 5,733 acres and is 10 percent contained, while the Wigwam Fire has burnt 4,191 acres with 15 percent containment.

The fires are located south and west of Ennis, in the 9,000-foot elevation range, within the rough mountainous terrain of the Gravelly Range Mountains. They are burning in whitebark pine and sub-alpine fir, with approximately 70% standing dead timber from bug kill and other natural conditions.

Firing operations along Johnny Ridge Road on the north side of Monument Fire have not been completed. Southern and western parts of the Monument Fire remained calm, and crews are gathering information along the east side for opportunities to check fire progression.

Crews on the Wigwam Fire made good progress on the contingency line on the north side of Wigwam Fire to Haypress Lakes and Haypress Lakes Trail Road.

Night shift crews were positioned on both fires to patrol, check spot fires, and provide for structure protection. A structure protection group is focused on structures threatened by fire. This group is evaluating structure protection needs in the Haypress Lakes Area Shining Mountains Subdivision.

Helicopters continue to support both fires dropping water where needed, particularly in the Wigwam Creek area. Fixed-wing air tankers are available when needed.

The Haypress Lakes area was evacuated August 12, with an evacuation order issued from the Haypress Lakes gate southwest to the forest border. From the gate northeast, the remainder of Shining Mountains subdivision is under an evacuation warning.

The Red Cross has been placed on standby at this time and will be reactivated if needed.