Two wildfires in the Gravelly mountains have together burned more than 6,000 acres, according to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Service.
The Forest Service said in a press release that infrared mapping shows the lightning-sparked Monument Fire, detected on Aug. 6, has grown to 4,215 acres as of Sunday night.
The Wigwam Fire was also sparked by lightning and was detected on August 11. It currently stands at 1,969 acres, according to the Forest Service.
A Unified Command of Forest Service and Madison County has been established to manage both fires. Resources currently assigned include 13 engines, 5 water tenders, a strike team of heavy equipment and 78 firefighters. A Type 3 light helicopter has been assigned to the fire and a Type 1 (Heavy) is doing bucket work. The Type 3 Incident Management Team currently assigned to the fire will be transitioning later this week with a Type 2 IMT.
Evacuations include the Haypress Lakes subdivision, which was evacuated August 12. 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.
The Johnny Ridge and Gravelly Range roads are closed through to Black Butte. A larger area closure has been identified and will be implemented in the near future to protect public safety.
The Ennis High School has been established as a Red Cross evacuation center. Matt Ochsner, regional communications director for the American Red Cross, Idaho and Montana, said the shelter was empty Sunday night. Oschner said even if people have a place to stay, Red Cross shelters offer supplies and information about the fire or other resources.
Additional reporting by MTN’s Mallory Peebles