The Bull Fire was detected late in the afternoon on July 29, 12 miles east of Gardiner in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, near Bull Mountain in the Hellroaring drainage. The fire is burning in dead and downed trees in the 1996 Coyote Fire area, and near the 1988 Hellroaring Fire. It covers approximately 240 acres.
Fire personnel onsite reported that fire activity increased today with the warmer and drier weather. The north end of the fire is currently the most active with some group tree torching and spotting. Due to the increased activity, two additional firefighters arrived on the fire to continue implementing the protection plan for the Hellroaring Cabin and other nearby infrastructure. The total of four firefighters will remain onsite until the fire behavior has decreased.
The portable weather station that is set up near the Hellroaring Cabin showed a temperature of 86 degrees and 11 percent humidity, with winds out of the southwest at 8 mph.
At this time, the fire management strategy being used on the Bull Fire is designed to achieve the Wilderness Area management direction of allowing fire to play its natural role on the landscape. Wildland fire is an important instrument needed to maintain fire-adapted ecosystems. This is especially important to overall goals of wilderness management. The Bull Fire is burning and consuming some pockets of the heavy standing dead snags and down logs that were a result of the 1996 Coyote Fire. Utilizing this lightning-caused fire to clean up these heavy fuels will reduce the potential for more intense fire behavior that could occur in the Hellroaring and Specimen Creek areas.
Closures: Approximately 2.5 miles of the Hellroaring Trail (FS Trail #91) east of Gardiner, Montana remains closed due to human safety concerns caused by the Bull Fire. The section of closed trail begins at the junction of the Hellroaring Trail with the Specimen Trail (FS Trail #84) and continues south to the Yellowstone National Park boundary.