Jeff Gildehaus 406-425-2563
Bud Nelson 603-748-0585
FIRE NAME: Pine Creek
DATE OF DETECTION: August 29, 2012
CAUSE: Human (under investigation)
CURRENT SIZE: 8,000 acres
LOCATION: Pine Creek on the east side of Paradise Valley
AGENCY: Park County, Gallatin National Forest
IMT: Greg Poncin’s Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
TODAY’S ACTIVITY: The fire was active in the Pine Creek drainage, high up on the slope. The fuels burning were interior of the fire’s edge. The west side of the fire was quiet, and the structure protection group searched for hot-spots near structures. The fire in the Deep Creek area was more active today than in the past couple of days due to the hot, dry and windy conditions. Helicopters dropped water to cool the fire. No smokes were seen at the head of Davis Creek.
TOMORROW’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: Thermal belts, with cold air above and below warmer air, may be present on the mountain tonight; resulting in lower relative humidity recovery in some areas. Tomorrow will be a critical fire weather day, with breezy, hot and dry conditions predicted. The Jet Stream will produce a potential for thunderstorms and associated gusty outflow winds later in the afternoon.
The fire may become more active earlier in the day due to fuels remaining dry through the night. In the Deep Creek and Pine Creek drainages, helicopters will be available to drop water to cool the fire and check its spread. Rehabilitation of unneeded dozer lines will continue today, as will demobilization of extra resources no longer needed for suppression operations.
Poncins’ Type I Team will transfer command of the incident to a Type III Incident Management Team this afternoon. The team will relocate camp to the Loch Leven Fishing Access Site, which will be closed to the public beginning Sunday, September 9, 2012 until further notice.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 181 personnel assigned, including 2 crews, 9 engines, 5 water tenders, and 3 helicopters.
SPECIAL MESSAGES & OTHER INFORMATION: Fuels in the area are extremely dry and receptive to burning. People who are interested in viewing the fire are encouraged to use Mallard’s Rest fishing access site on Highway 89, and refrain from stopping on East River Road. Loch Leven fishing access site on the Yellowstone River south of Livingston will be closed to the public beginning Sunday, September 9, 2012.
Areas currently under a pre-evacuation notice (Deep Creek, Upper Deep Creek Bench, Swingley, West Boulder, George Creek, Pool Creek, Pine Creek, Barney Creek and Lower Luccock Park) will remain in that status until the threat is completely removed. The pre-evacuation notice encourages residents to keep their bags packed and ready to go in the event the fire activity picks up again, given certain fire behavior conditions (weather, drying of fuels, topographic alignment).
People are urged to travel slowly and cautiously with the increased fire traffic and school buses on the roads. Be sure to obey all traffic signs and drive defensively Roads closed to travel by the general public include the following: Deep Creek, Deep Creek Bench, Lower Deep Creek Bench and Upper Luccock Park.
The area closure on the Gallatin National Forest is still in effect, including the Pine Creek Campground and Trailhead.
Residents that are returning to their homes are encouraged to stay at their property. Residents are also encouraged to stay off the roads during the early morning and early evening hours to prevent interfering with firefighters accessing and leaving the fire area. Residents should be aware that helicopters could still be flying overhead, as they are assisting firefighters on the ground on the southern and northern portions of the fire.
Parents of children riding a school bus should escort their children to the bus stop and stay with them until the bus arrives; parents should meet their students at the end of the school day at the bus stop.
A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area in order to safeguard aerial fire operations.
For further information, go to www.inciweb.org.
Visit the Park County DES website at www.parkcounty.org