Forest Service Managing South Meadow Creek Fire in Southern Tobacco Root Mountains

Contact(s): Leona Rodreick

Lightning ignited the South Meadow Creek Fire the evening of July 25 and was reported at approximately 10:30 p.m.  Firefighters from the Madison Ranger District and Madison Rural Valley Fire Department provided the initial response that evening.  The fire is located approximately ½ mile southeast of South Meadow Lake in the Tobacco Root Mountains and is burning at an elevation of 9,000 feet in very steep, inaccessible terrain with large amounts of standing dead trees. 

Firefighters have not been able to engage the fire in this location as there is no adequate way to provide timely medical care in case of injuries due to the difficult terrain.  A helicopter was used July 26 to drop water on the fire to cool it and minimize spread.  Fire personnel are being vigilant and are currently seeking out opportunities to engage the fire in areas with better access along ridgelines and road systems.

The fire is currently 1/10 acre in size and has shown very little smoke or activity but as conditions dry, it may become visible from both the Madison valley near McAllister and the Ruby valley around Sheridan. There are no road, trail or area closures at this time.

Visitors to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest are advised to be cautious with fire by making sure their campfires are completely out and cool to the touch before leaving, and by keeping vehicles on roads as grass and shrubs are dry and easily ignited.

For more information contact the Madison District office (406) 682-4253, located at 5 Forest Service Road in Ennis.