DATE OF DETECTION: August 29, 2012
CAUSE: Human (under investigation)
CURRENT SIZE: 8,047 acres
LOCATION: Pine Creek on the east side of Paradise Valley
AGENCY: Park County, Gallatin National Forest
IMT: Type III Incident Management Team, Greg Juvan, IC
YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: Hot, dry and windy conditions resulted in active fire, specifically in the Pine Creek drainage, high up on the slope. The fuels burning were interior of the fire’s edge. The fire has hung up in the rocks at the ridgetop. Movement yesterday was estimated at 300 acres. A few smokes popped up in the Davis Creek area; helicopters will work these spots tomorrow.
The Type III Incident Management Team took over the fire yesterday afternoon. The team relocated camp to the Loch Leven Fishing Access Site, which will be closed to the public until further notice.
TODAY’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: Today is critical fire weather day, with breezy, hot and dry conditions predicted. forecast calls for unseasonably warm temperatures with low relative humidity, and that pattern will continue through Tuesday. The high today will climb into the mid 80’s with a minimum relative humidity of 10-15%. Wind will be out of the west-southwest at 15-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph.
With the warm, dry and windy weather, any heat that is still out there may show today. All resources on the western side of the fire will “seek and destroy” all of those hot spots they can access safely. Helicopters will drop water on the Davis Creek smokes to keep the fire’s spread in check in this area. Firefighters will assess yesterday’s movement in the Pine Creek drainage.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 130 personnel assigned, including 2 crews, 8 engines, 1 water tender 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 which is causing some serious safety hazards. Loch Leven fishing access site on the Yellowstone River is closed to the public.
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