Update: September 8, 2012 @ 9 a.m.
Contact: Terina Mullen 406-208-0934
Karen Tuscano 406-223-2028
Jeff Gildehaus 406-425-2563
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
YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: The northern slope of the Pine Creek drainage was the most active yesterday afternoon. The fuels that burned were interior of the fire’s edge. The west side of the fire was quiet, and the structure protection group put out hot spots near structures. A few smokes were seen in the Deep Creek area, but no helicopter water drops were needed. No smokes were seen at the head of Davis Creek.
TODAY’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: Today’s forecast calls for unseasonably warm temperatures with low relative humidity, and that pattern will continue through Tuesday. Sunday will be a critical fire weather day with the warm and dry continuing, along with the potential for thunderstorms. The high today will reach 86 degrees with the minimum relative humidity of 10%. Wind will be out of the west-southwest at 5-12 mph, gusting to 18 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. In the Deep Creek and Pine Creek drainages, helicopters will be available to drop water if the fire activity increases. Rehabilitation of unneeded dozer lines will continue today, and demobilization of extra resources no longer needed for suppression operations will continue. The planned transition from Poncins’ Type I team back to a local management team will occur on Sunday. The local team will relocate camp to the Loch Leven Fishing Access, which will be closed to the public beginning Sunday, September 9, 2012, until further notice.
A community fund-raiser will be held today, Saturday, September 8, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Miles Park Band Shell for the Pine Creek Fire Relief Fund to help those displaced by the fire.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 293 personnel assigned, including 7 crews, 10 engines, 5 water tenders, and 3 helicopters.
SPECIAL MESSAGES: Fuels in the area are extremely dry and receptive to burning. 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. 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. This temporary closure has been requested by the Forest Service in order to provide a safe place to station helicopters and personnel fighting the Pine Creek Fire. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks will alert the public to the site’s reopening. Questions specific to this closure may be directed to Ray Heagney, Fishing Access Site Coordinator at 406-994-6987.
Pine Creek Fire – Pre-evacuation order to remain in effect
Firefighters continue to work on securing fireline around the Pine Creek fire. The fire is in pretty good shape; however, the threat has not been completely removed.
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).
Roads closed to travel by the general public include the following:
- Deep Creek
- Deep Creek Bench
- Lower Deep Creek Bench
- Upper Luccock Park
For a more detailed description of the pre-evacuation notice and the rationale for the decision, please contact Fire Chief Dann Babcox or Greg Coleman with the DES office.
Other important information:
The area closure on the Gallatin National Forest is still in effect, which includes 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.
Follow the Northern Rockies IMT on Facebook (Northern Rockies National IMT) or Twitter@Poncin IMT.
Park County Emergency Phone: 406-224-0808