Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

UPDATE: JULY 24 AT 11:06 A.M.

The American Fork Fire is now reported to be 5,726 acres large and is 10% contained as of an update from the Southern Area Incident Management Gold Team Saturday morning.

Firefighters started mopping up on the northeast and east firelines and worked to hold the fire on the top ridge to the south on Friday.

On Saturday, firefighters will continue suppression and firing operations towards the 2017 Blacktail Fire footprint where little fuel is available to burn according to the update.

Firefighters are holding the fireline along the east and using aerial resources to pick up spot fires and aid suppression on the north, south and west edges.

Crews will also be preparing for structure protection south of the fire.

UPDATE: JULY 20 AT 5:40 P.M.

A closure is in effect for the northeast Crazy Mountains, including the entire Shields River Loop, Sunlight TH, Sweet Grass Drainage and all connectors, according to Custer Gallatin National Forest.

Fire Crews on the American Fork Fire reportedly had a successful burnout operation late Monday and will continue to further secure the northern end of the fire Tuesday to the former Blacktail Fire scar from a couple years ago.

A Type II Incident Management Team has been assigned and will be incoming.

To the south and western ends of the fire, continuous fuels prove challenging toward firefighting efforts.

HELENA, Mont. - Crews are responding to two new wildfires burning in the northeast of the Crazy Mountains.

The American Fork Fire (46°09’53.8”N 110°14’51.0”W) is approximately 700 acres in size, burning actively in timber. A Type 3 incident team has been ordered, with resources being shared with the O’Hearn Creek Fire.

The O’Hearn Creek Fire (46°12’36.7”N 110°16’32.5”W) is located approximately 2 miles north of the American Fork Fire near Makey Creek; Approximately 400 acres in size.

At this time firefighting resources are being shared between the fires given their proximity. The White Sulphur Springs Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest are responding to the fires.

Resources responding include: multiple engines, one Type 2 firefighting crew, one crew of smokejumpers, with several helicopters and a large air tanker providing aerial attack/support according to the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.

The public is being asked to avoid the areas of the fires to allow firefighters room to work as quickly and safely as possible.

“We’re using a full suppression strategy for these two fires, providing for firefighter and public safety first and foremost. Anticipated weather for the areas calls for potentially very active fire behavior,” said Agency Administrator and Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor Jeff Shinn. “Given the high number of incidents both within the northern Rockies as well as nationally, firefighting resources continue to be spread thin and it remains critically important that the public do their part in preventing any additional fire starts by complying with campfire restrictions and any fire-related closures in effect on the Forest.”

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