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 Pine Creek Fire experienced low fire activity today with the northeast winds. The fire in the Pine Creek drainage was sheltered from the wind, and smoldering and creeping fire were the main contributors to the smoke layer in the valley. Crews scouted the Pine Creek drainage, looking for any hot spots that were a result of yesterday’s activity. Mop-up continued on the southern edge of the fire. For a short period of time, the large helicopter assisted the Millie Fire with operations.
TOMORROW’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: The cold front that passed through the area today did not produce any showers as predicted. Light and shifting winds are forecast for tomorrow. The forecasted high for tomorrow is 74 degrees with a minimum relative humidity of 19%. Winds will be out of the northeast in the morning and shifting to the southwest in the afternoon at 4-8 mph with gusts up to 10 mph.
With the decreasing winds, fire activity is expected to be low to moderate in the Deep Creek and Pine Creek drainages. The portion of the fire in the cirque basin at the head of Davis Creek will continue to be monitored; bucket drops will be used if needed. Crews will continue to reinforce the firelines, mop-up and secure hot-spots. The structure protection engine group is assisting other resources with mop-up. Demobilization of extra resources no longer needed for suppression operations will continue tomorrow. Assigned resources will be available to assist in the initial attack of any new fire starts in the fire area.
A community fund-raiser will be held this 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 348 personnel assigned, including 9 crews, 15 engines, 4 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.
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).
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.
Effective at 8:00 a.m.on September 5, 2012:
Roadblock locations previously in effect (East River Road and just north of George Creek Road, Highway 89 and East River Road, Pine Creek Road, just east of KOA) will be removed.
Roads closed to travel by the general public include the following:
- Deep Creek
- Deep Creek Bench
- Lower Deep Creek Bench
- Upper Luccock Park
Road closures are enacted in order to ensure the safe travel of firefighting resources to and from the fire, as well as the general safety of the residents in the area. Residents are encouraged to drive at slower than normal/posted speeds. A large number of firefighting resources are still working on the southern edge and the northwest corner of the fire.
The areas that changed to a pre-evacuation notice on September 4th included the following:
- Deep Creek Road
- Lower Deep Creek Bench Road
The areas that changed to a pre-evacuation notice on September 3rd included the following:
- Lower Luccock Park Road
- Barney Creek Road
- Pine Creek Road area
Other important information:
The area closure on the Gallatin National Forest is still in effect.
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 northwestern 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