The American Fork and O'Hearn Creek fires burning on the east side of the Crazy Mountains have burned together, prompting a forthcoming closure in the remote area between Big Timber and Harlowton.
The lightning-caused fire started Sunday morning, and the total acreage burned is listed as 5200 acres with 0% contained.
Numerous engines, dozers and hand crews are on the scene, and a Type 2 team have been ordered to the incident.
"American Fork Fire saw active fire with rapid growth yesterday, including crowning, running, and long-range spotting," an updated from Type 3 incident commander Tom Feilden said. "Fire has potential to move north, west and south with continuous fuel depending on wind and slope. We anticipate additional growth today, under red flag conditions, with high temperatures, low relative humidity, and gusty winds."
Trail closures on the Custer Gallatin National Forest include: Turkey Creek Forest Service Road #6634, the entire Shields Loop, Sunlight Trailhead, Sweet Grass Drainage, and Lodgepole Creek Trail #266. Closures on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest include: the Lebo Trail #640 and Big Elk Trailhead #640.
The Custer Gallatin National Forest is implementing additional Stage 1 Fire Restrictions beginning July 21. Under the additional restrictions all campfires, even in designated sites and metal fire rings, will be prohibited. In addition, target shooting outside of designated and managed shooting ranges is NOT allowed.
Under the expanded Stage 1 Restrictions:
- No fires allowed of any type - even in developed sites and metal fire rings.
- Stoves fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels may be used.
- Smoking allowed only within an enclosed vehicle or building.
- Target shooting outside of designated and managed shooting ranges is not allowed.
- No fires allowed within designated or recommended wilderness areas.
- Fires are not allowed at recreation residences, organizational camps, or other developments under permit.