Monument and Wigwam fires

Two fires are burning in the Gravelly Mountains. 

Updated 12:32 p.m. Aug. 13: The Wigwam fire is now estimated at 1,969 acres, according to new estimates.

The Monument fire is estimated at 4,215 acres.


Updated 9:03 a.m. Aug. 13: The Wigwam fire is now estimated at 1,969 acres, according to Monday morning's National Situation Report. A fire official said more accurate estimates would come later Monday. 

The Monument fire is estimated at 4,215 acres.  


Two lightning-caused wildfires are burning southwest of Ennis in the Gravelly Mountains, prompting an early morning evacuation for some Madison County residents.

The Wigwam fire, estimated at 1,969 acres, is burning in the Wigwam Creek drainage, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release. A Facebook post from the the Madison County Emergency Management Office said it was between two and three miles from the Haypress Lakes Subdivision.

A portion of the subdivision was evacuated Sunday morning. An evacuation order is in place for Haypress Lake Road and Boiler springs. Ennis High School has been established as a Red Cross evacuation center. 

Five engines, two water tenders and 20 firefighters are responding to the Wigwam fire, according to the release. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered. 

Farther south, the Monument fire has burned an estimated 4,215 acres in the Ruby Creek drainage, according to the Forest Service. It's about 18 miles southwest of Cameron. 

Johnny Ridge Road and the Gravelly Range Road to Black Butte Cabin have been closed.  

The Monument fire is spitting enough smoke to sully air quality in Ennis and West Yellowstone, according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. The agency's daily air quality outlook said air in West Yellowstone was unhealthy for people with lung problems.

A public meeting regarding the fires has been scheduled for 7 p.m., Sunday at Fire Station No. 3 on Fish Hatchery Road in Ennis. 

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.