Wigwam Fire Aug 14

Smoke billows from the Wigwam fire burning southwest of Ennis in the Gravelly Mountains. 

Federal and state land managers have ordered closures due to the fires burning on the eastern side of the Gravelly Mountains southwest of Ennis. 

The Bureau of Land Management has closed public access to the Axolotl Lakes Wilderness Study Area in order to avoid conflict with fire suppression work on the Monument and Wigwam fires, burning in the mountains south of there. 

Keith Johnson, acting field manager for BLM's Dillon office, said in a press release that the flames  haven't reached BLM lands but aren't far off. He added that the BLM is "keeping a close eye on all wildfire activity in our jurisdiction."

Farther south, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has closed the road to the Wall Creek Wildlife Management Area. The Monument fire, estimated at roughly 4,500 acres, is burning on Forest Service land outside the WMA.

FWP officials want to ensure that public users don't get in the way of fire crews. Mark Deleray, regional supervisor for FWP, said land inside the WMA remains open. 

Johnny Ridge and Gravelly Range roads are closed to Black Butte because of the Monument fire.

The Wigwam fire, last estimated at roughly 2,500 acres, forced an evacuation of part of the Haypress Lakes Subdivision this weekend. The order remains in place for Haypress Lakes Road and Boiler springs. 

Michael Wright can be reached at mwright@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2638. Follow him on Twitter @mj_wright1. 

Michael Wright covers the environment and wildlife issues for the Chronicle.