GREAT FALLS — The American Fork Fire and the O'Hearn Creek Fire have now burned together, and are now being reported as the American Fork Fire.
The fire is burning about 24 miles southwest of Harlowton, and as of Tuesday morning, burned an estimated 5,200 acres. There have been no reported injuries or damaged structures. The cause of the fires is believed to be lightning.
Firefighters will attempt to hold the fire east at the Blacktail Fire scar and hold west of the Forest Service boundary. Structures in Shields Valley will continue to be assessed. Crews will also hold constructed line along the eastern perimeter and continue to use aviation resources to pick up spots and aid in suppression.
Additional resources, including a Type II team, have been ordered to aid in suppression efforts
The American Fork Fire saw active fire with rapid growth Monday, including crowning, running, and long-range spotting. Fire has potential to move north, west and south with continuous fuel depending on wind and slope. Firefighters expect additional growth on Tuesday, 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, and Lodgepole Creek Trail #266. Shields Loop and Sunlight Trailhead. Closures on the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest include the Lebo Trail #640 and Big Elk Trailhead (#640).
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