DATE: September 16, 2012
TIME: 8:00 am
INCIDENT: Dugan Fire 10,500 acres (rough estimate – fire perimeter has not yet been measured with GPS) – cause unknown at this time
FIRE LOCATION: 2 miles south of Ekalaka in Carter County
Fire is burning on private land, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Custer Forest Service managed land in the southern and western portion of the Ekalaka Hills
INCIDENT COMMAND: Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) County Assist Incident Management Team - assumed Command at 6:00 a.m. Sept. 16th
Incident Commanders – Doug Williams and Todd Klemann
INFORMATION OFFICER: Linda Williams CELL PHONE: 868-1487
INCIDENT COMMAND POST – located at Ekalaka Fair Grounds
RESOURCES: PERSONNEL: 200 – including: engine strike teams; hand crews; smokejumpers
EQUIPMENT: Engines – 25 helicopters – 3 3 dozers & 2 graders
DAMAGE: some outbuildings - no injuries.
AT RISK: Multiple structures including primary residences adjacent to the national forest boundary two radio towers, Ekalaka Park Campground and Camp Needmore.
CURRENT SITUATION & PLANS FOR TODAY: Local and DNRC crews along with local landowners fought the fire all night and continued working on structure protection. Yesterday the crews successfully conducted some large burn-out operations to prevent the fire from jumping the lines. The cloud cover today should assist control efforts as firefighters work to strengthen the fire lines. There are numerous snags that create problems and crews will work in those areas to make sure there are no new fire starts. Helicopters will continue assisting the ground crews to gain control and cool down the hot spots.
- Severe wind event could potentially spread fire beyond the fire lines. This fire has shown extreme and erratic fire behavior.
- Priority will be given to public and fire fighter safety along with structure protection.
- Numerous snags are a safety concern for fire fighters
MESSAGES FOR THE PUBLIC:
Vehicle traffic on the roads near the fire perimeter is a major safety concern and interferes with the firefighting activity. The resulting dust from the increased traffic creates problems with visibility. The Sheriff’s office is requesting that only landowners from that area travel those roads. Deputies will be patrolling.
AREA CLOSURE: Forest Service has implemented an area closure that includes all National Forest System lands from the Chalk Buttes Highway on the west and north side to the Pershing Cuttoff Road on the south side and on the east side to Highway 323. This area closure does not include private land or land managed by other agencies.
FUELS & TOPOGRAPHY: grass, shrubs & ponderosa pine timber in rough and steep coulees.
HISTORY OF EVENT: Fire began in the evening of September 14th. Initial attack was conducted by local Carter County fire departments and BLM with mutual aid from neighboring counties. The erratic winds caused major runs with torching and rapid fire spread. Fire fighters reported spotting up to ½ mile from the main fire. Local ranchers assisted by helping to plow fire breaks in hopes of preventing the fire from spreading into the surrounding private grazing land. On Saturday, September 15th the DNRC County Assist Team (CAT) was called in by the Forest Service and BLM to assist and support local forces. Incident Fire Camp was established at the Ekalaka Fair grounds to provide support for the fire fighters and local emergency response personnel.