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American Fork fire, Divide Complex fires update (July 27)

American Fork Fire - AM Recon 07/18
Ellis Fire and Balsinger Fire
American Fork Fire
American Fork Fire
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 18:08:55-04

GREAT FALLS — Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest provided an update on Tuesday morning on several large fires.

The American Fork Fire is estimated at 8,379 acres, and is about 10% contained. Yesterday, the fire was reported to be 12,366 acres; the lower number reflects more accurate mapping.

The Balsinger Fire is about 6,722 acres with no containment. The Ellis Fire is estimated at 1,277 acres, with 70% containment. The Balsinger and Ellis fires are being co-managed as the Divide Complex Fire.

The Divide Complex has 165 personnel assigned, along with aircraft, engines, dozers and water tenders. The American Fork Fire has 183 personnel assigned, including engines, a dozer and a water tender. Private rancher dozers are also supporting the suppression efforts.

As of Tuesday morning, there have been no reports of any injuries or damaged/destroyed structures.

Evacuation Notices:

  • An evacuation order for Belt Park, issued by the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, remains in place.
  • A pre-evacuation order was issued for the area from the Belt Creek Ranger Station to Monarch and from west of Monarch to the confluence of Pilgrim Creek and Belt Creek. Pre-evacuation means that people in the affected area should prepare to evacuate if the need arises. Preparing means that you should have a "go bag" ready containing necessary items.

There are two other large fires in our area. The Harris Mountain Fire has burned an estimated 19,103 acres as of Tuesday morning, growing by more than 7,000 acres since Monday. The Woods Creek Fire near Boulder Lakes in the Big Belt Mountains has burned an estimated 3,700 acres as of Tuesday morning.

Several large fires burning