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Black Mountain Fire Update 07/27/2021

Current Size: 968 Acres

Current Containment: 0%

Location: 13 miles south of Jackson, MT

Start Date: July 17, 2021

Cause: Lightning

Resources Assigned: 91 Personnel

SUMMARY The Black Mountain Fire size estimation was 968 acres but we believe has increased. Acreage numbers will be updated following our next InfraRed flight over the fire. Fire behavior has increased slightly with the increase in temperatures and lower relative humidity causing increased smoldering, creeping and singe-tree torching. Increased fire activity occurred along the southeast corner but did not present any issues. Forecasts continue to call for critical fire weather as fuels continue to dry out. Fire movement is expected to increase towards the north and east. Masticators and crews continued work along the Selway Rd and are clearing roads from the Saginaw Bridge to Governor’s Creek. The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Beaverhead County Search and Rescue building and is fully operational.

Fire managers on the Black Mountain fire are using full suppression where possible and confine and contain strategies to protect primary residences while reducing the risk to wildland firefighters. Operation and planning staff will employ tactics that are most likely to succeed in our current situation and where the benefits are commensurate with the risk involved and are continually evaluating the situation and may change tactics based on new information and fire behavior.

PLANNED ACTIVITIES FOR TODAY An additional engine, a Type 3 helicopter and two skidgenes arrived yesterday and will integrate with existing crews and continue improving the indirect containment line along the Saginaw and Selway access roads. By cutting brush, small trees and removing dead trees, firefighters are creating a safer place to engage using several firefighting tactics and giving them a higher chance of success should the fire spread in that direction. The additional resources will also be in place in the event that the fire begins to threaten the indirect containment lines. Engine crews along the Skinner Meadows corridor will continue developing a structure protection plan and scout for opportunities to minimize any impact to private infrastructure and land should the fire grow.

WEATHER Hot and dry conditions will continue through today. The National Weather Service predicts relative humidity recovery will be poor tonight night. Firefighters anticipate light winds out of the south, with gusts up to 20 mph in the afternoon. Weather is anticipated to be similar tomorrow. There is a slight chance of showers (20%) Tuesday night with higher potential for precipitation on Wednesday evening.

CURRENT CLOSURES The Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF in association with the Salmon-Challis NF, issued a Forest Closure Order on July 21, 2021, to include campgrounds, trails and recreation areas on all National Forest systems land in the west Big Holes. Please visit for more details.

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