Here is the latest information on the Elbow Pass Complex of wildfires:

Fire Facts:

Date Detected: July 12 (Elbow Pass), July 28 (Triple Divide), July 29 (Rapid Creek) July 31 (Bar)

Location: Rocky Mountain Ranger District, Lewis & Clark National Forest Service                                                                             

Aircraft: Helicopters 3 large, 1 medium, 1 small                                                                         

  Personnel: 114

Acreage: 16,718                                       

 Percent Contained: 0%                                                 

 Cause: Lightning


Objectives:  To keep fire from moving further into the Benchmark Corridor,  to continue structure protection on Danaher & Basin Cabins, and  to have the fire crews ready to support the Forest as requested for initial attack (IA).

Planned events for today:  Crews will be flown into Green Fork Cabin and Patrol Ridge for mop up operations. Monitoring for division fire spread and remaining IA ready.  Aerial recon flights are continuing today over the fire.  Structure protection will continue to be a priority on the Danaher and Basin cabins; also Forest Service personnel remain located at the Pretty Prairie and Welcome cabins should structure protection of the cabins prove necessary.


Fire Activity:  Plume dominated fire behavior between Observation Point and Flint Mountain. Single and group tree torching with active backing fire into the South Fork of the Sun River was observed yesterday.   The fire received just under a tenth of an inch of rain last evening.

Fire Weather:  Partly cloudy with an isolated thunderstorm possible late afternoon.

Open Recreation Opportunities:

  • Scenic driving loop from Augusta up the Benchmark county road across Beaver-Willow Road #233 to Sun Canyon and back to Augusta
  • Fishing at Nilan and Willow Creek Reservoirs
  • Day hiking on all front country trails in the Willow Creek, Beaver Creek and Sun Canyon areas

For more information on recreation opportunities, Please call Augusta Information Station at 406-562-3247

Evacuations:  Mandatory Evacuation Order remains in effect for the Benchmark area


  • The entire upper South Fork Sun River south of Benchmark
  • Straight Creek drainage up to Halfmoon Creek including the Green Fork drainage
  • Petty Crown and Petty Ford area
  • East of the Benchmark Road through Renshaw Mountain, Red Hill, Cyanide Mountain, and Red Creek to the Double Falls area along the Benchmark Road.
  • The Benchmark Road In the area of the Bar Creek Fire on the Flathead National Forest 
  • The entire upper Danaher Creek drainage south of the confluence of Camp Creek and Danaher Creek,
  • All tributary drainages up to the Continental Divide on the east and the Flathead National Forest boundary to the south as far west as Moser Mountain
  • Foolhen Creek drainage, Black Mountain, and Woodtick Mountain to the west.

For more information on these or other wildland fires, and related information visit:

More From KSEN AM 1150