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Fire Update

Wednesday, September 5, 2001 update

Several fires are burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest including 2 in the Bridger Wilderness and one in the Big Piney area.

A new fire started on the Big Piney Ranger District, the Buford Fire, approximately 9 miles northwest of the Sherman Guard Station
near the headwaters of Grizzly Creek. This fire was quickly responded to by four firefighters and contained at ¼ acre at 2:00 am this morning.

Two fires are burning in the Wind River Mountains. US Forest Service map.The Clear Creek Fire continues to burn near Green River Lakes in the northern portion of the Wind River Range. A Closure has been put into effect for the Clear Creek and Slide Lake areas. (see Closure Map) Hikers can still access the Continental Divide Trails along the western side of lower Green River Lakes and the western perimeter of the closure area. This fire is approximately 180 acres in size and the cause is unknown.

The Iron Creek Fire, now at approximately 350 acres, is burning within management objectives in the Big Sandy area of the southern Wind River mountains. (fire map)

Visitors traveling north should be aware of fires burning in the Snake River Canyon that may create heavy smoke at times reducing visibility along the highway. See the Teton Fires web site for updates on all the fires on the Bridger-Teton Forest,

For More Fire Details, Click Here
(fire pictures, maps, and more specific info)

Campfires are NOT allowed in dispersed camping areas such as the one shown in the picture below.

Dispersed campsite with a fire ring

The Fremont Trail is still open. USFS photo.
Hikers and pack strings can still use the Fremont Trail that passes through the Iron Creek Fire in Fish Creek Park south of Dad's Lake in the Bridger Wilderness in the Big Sandy area. The fire was started by lightning and is being carefully managed and allowed to burn for resource benefits. Photo by the Bridger-Teton National Forest Interagency Fire crews. Click for larger picture.

Where to get more information:

For More Info on the Web

Teton Fires
Bridger-Teton National Forest

National Interagency Fire Center NIFC Wildland Fire Map

Press Releases

Bridger-Teton Fire Info
Jay Anderson, BTNF Public Affairs, Jackson

Pinedale Ranger District
29 CR-154, Pinedale
Wyn Menefee (Iron Ck Fire)
Fire Information Officer

Big Piney Ranger District
315 S. Front, Big Piney

Where to report fires:
Sublette County Sheriff's Office

911 or 307-367-4378
Pinedale Ranger District
Big Piney Ranger District
BTNF Supervisor's Office (Jackson)

Teton Fire Dispatch
(Grand Teton Park in Moose)


Callers are reminded that if they are using a cell phone, they may not get a local office when they dial 911. The best place to call for area fires is either the local Sheriff's office or the Bridger-Teton Fire Office. Be prepared to give a location of the smoke, your name, where you are calling from, and how they can get ahold of you again for more information if needed.

  • Visitors should expect firefighter and helicopter activity in the Green River Lakes (helibase at Kendall Guard Station) and Big Sandy areas (helibase in Irish Canyon).
  • Specific details about the fires on the western side of the Wind River Range are available from the Pinedale Ranger District, 307-367-4326. Information Officer for the Iron Creek Fire is Wyn Menefee, 307-367-5720.
  • Daily printed fire updates are being distributed to the Pinedale Post Office, Wrangler Cafe, Faler's General Store, the Great Outdoor Shop, Sublette County Library & Sheriff's Office, local motels, and Big Sandy Lodge. News releases are being given to local newspapers and KPIN radio station. Current fire information is also posted at trailheads for wilderness users.
  • Please remember fire danger is EXTREME. Fire restrictions are in place for all of Sublette County. No open fires are permitted except in designated areas. This restriction also applies to private land, burning trash, etc. Individuals who cause fires through negligence may be held responsible for the firefighting costs.
  • Please call in any new smoke columns that you see.
  • The Teton Fires web site up in Jackson has updates on fire activity on the Forest, The Interagency Fire Information Center in Jackson closed on August 17th. The Bridger-Teton Forest is putting fire information up on their web site at:

Bridger-Teton/Park Fire Updates

Wednesday, September 5, 2001
Fire Restrictions remain in effect

|Clear Creek Fire| |Iron Creek Fire|
|Buford Fire on Big Piney RD| |Other Fires|

Clear Creek Fire and area. Pinedale Online 3-D map.
Clear Creek area 3-D map by Pinedale Online!

Clear Creek Fire - 180 acres in the Wilderness east of lower Green River Lakes.
Trail & Area Closures are in effect

The Clear Creek Fire is now approximately 180 acres in size burning in the Clear Creek drainage near Clear Creek Falls and lower Green River Lakes. The cause of this fire is still under investigation. A closure is in effect for part of the Highline Continental Divide Trail Clear Creek fire area map. USFS map.#094, but hikers can still get by along the other side of the lower lake to access the CDT. (closure area) The Clear Creek drainage is closed, including Clear Creek Natural Bridge and Slide Lake areas, and campers were contacted by helicopter September 2nd and advised to leave the area. It is unknown how long this closure will remain in effect. The fire is being called 50% contained today and the cooler and wetter weather should help USFS Fire perimeter mapfirefighters get things under control soon.
   The Green River Lakes campground, trailhead, and lodge are not considered in eminent threat at this time, but this is being monitored daily and evacuation actions may be taken if these areas are identified as at risk.

Earlier Updates:
Monday, September 3 update
Friday, August 31 update
Wednesday, August 29 update

Wednesday, August 22 update
Tuesday, August 21, noon update
Monday, August 20 7pm update
Monday, August 20 10am update
Sunday, August 19 update
Wednesday, August 8 update
Wednesday, August 1 update
Sunday, July 29 update
Friday, July 27 update
Wednesday, July 25 update
Tuesday, July 24 update
Monday, July 16 update
Monday, July 9 update
Sunday, July 8 update

Saturday, July 7 update

Friday July 6, 2001 9 pm update
Friday, July 6, 2001 8 am update
Thursday, July 5, 2001

Iron Creek Fire:

3-D boader area topo map
click for larger map

3-D topo showing broader view of Big Sandy area, wilderness boundary, and Iron Creek fire location. (8/31/01) Map by Pinedale Online!



Closure area for Clear Creek Fire. USFS map.Clear Creek Closure Area:
Highline Trail (CDT) #094: From Green River Trailhead to the junction of Lakeside Trail #144
Clear Creek Trail #184: Entire trail closed
Slide Lake Trail #147: Entire trail closed

Note that the Lakeside Trail #144 is open and provides an alternate route for the Highline Trail (CDT) around lower Green River Lakes. Hikers can still use the Continental Divide Trail system to bypass the south and west sides of the closure area.
Currently there are 50 firefighting personnel working this fire along with 2 helicopters. A helibase is located out of Kendall Guard Station and the north side of the Green River Lakes campground fence. The Fire Camp is based out of Green River Lakes Campground.
Visitors to the Green River Lakes area can expect to see Forest Service vehicles on the main road as they are working this fire and helicopters flying overhead. The campground host at Green River Lakes can provide updated information about the fire, and there may be personnel stationed at the Highline Trailhead near the bridge on the Green River stopping hikers and providing information about the closure area.
   Management objectives for this fire are:
1. Provide for firefighter and public safety.

2. Hold the fire inside the Bridger Wilderness.
3. Utilize minimum impact suppression techniques to protect wilderness resources.

USFS Iron Creek fire location map

Iron Creek Fire - 350 acres, Big Sandy area,
No closures or flight restrictions
The Iron Creek fire continues to burn within the Bridger Wilderness and has expanded to about 350 acres. It is being called "the perfect fire" by managers who are pleased with the diverse burn pattern that is meeting their management objectives. The fire is located within the Bridger Wilderness approximately 2.5 miles north of Big Sandy Campground and continues to progress in a north and northeast direction. The fire has progressed into the Fish Lake drainage. Fire crews continue to prevent south and western movement of the fire. Over the last two days, burnout operations have reinforced the southern and western boundaries consuming fuels to create a black line buffer zone in case of flare ups. There continues to be substantial USFS photo of Iron Creek Fire area Tuesday. helicopter traffic in the area doing bucket drops and transporting supplies and personnel. The area and Fremont Trail are still open to wilderness recreation visitors. Firefighter personnel are posted as trail monitors for visitor safety and there may be some delays on the Fremont trail depending on fire activity.
   This fire is being managed as a Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefit, meaning fire crews are allowing the fire to continue to burn to accomplish objectives outlined in the Bridger Wilderness Management Plan and the Bridger Wilderness Fire Plan. As a natural fire in the wilderness, the burn will help to clear out underbrush and debris, renew plant growth in the spring, and add nutrients back into the soil. The fire objective is to prevent the blaze from spreading outside of the wilderness boundaries where it might endanger the Big Sandy Campground, Big Sandy Lodge and Summer Homes in the area. The fire is continuing to advance to the north and east, as desired.
Iron Creek Fire perimeter map by  USFS.  With the cooler weather coming in today, the fire activity has not grown significantly and the Forest Service anticipates demobilizing some of the crews shortly. Weather forecasts are for rain and even snow in the next couple of days for over 8,500 feet elevation. The Iron Creek Fire is at 9,400 feet in the Big Sandy area.
"With current weather and slow rate of spread, the fire is not expected to jump over to the next forested area. The size of the fire is not expected to increase much," said Wyn Menefee, Fire Information Officer for the Iron Creek Fire this afternoon. "They are starting to cut back crews tonight because they are expecting rain and the fire is slowing its rate of spread. We probably won't need as many people on the fire if this continues."
    Natural landscape barriers and the wind patterns have been very useful in helping firefighters direct the direction of the fire's burn. The Fremont Trail goes through a wide grassy meadow with trees on the mountain sideslopes. The fire is burning in the trees on both sides of the meadow, but has not burned much into the meadow or right to the trail. Visitors and hunters are being cautioned that even though the trail is open through the burn area, they should not go into the area of the actual burn. Fire areas are very hazardous and USFS photo of Iron Creek Fire burn Tuesdayhazards such as falling snags and unseen burning pockets can be dangerous. Fire crews have removed many of the obvious snags near the trail in the area, but falling trees within the fire area are a very real danger. Forest officials advise visitors stay out of the actual burn area and camp away from any snags that can potentially fall. "People need to be aware of trees that can come down in the fire area. Crews have cut down many of the obvious hazards near the trail, but there still is a danger, and it is risky for people to go into the burned area" said Menefee.
   The Forest Service has been using the help of Big Sandy Lodge to transport supplies in and out of the area.
They have also been preparing meals for firefighters. "We really appreciate the efforts that Big Sandy Lodge made to accommodate the food services we required. They pulled it together really fast. It was really good for the crews up there eating good hot food instead of eating MREs. It was very good for crew morale. Big Sandy Lodge has been right on top of any changes that we made and have been really flexible. They were great!" commented Menefee.   

Management objectives for this fire are:
1. Provide for firefighter, visitor and aviation safety, including firefighter health and wellness.
2. Allow the fire to move north and east further into the Bridger Wilderness.
3. Keep the fire from moving west and southwest outside of the Bridger Wilderness (the approved fire plan boundary).
4. Manage the fire using minimum impact suppression tactics, with minimum disruption to wilderness visitors, wilderness and aquatic/riparian resources.

   If you plan to travel through the Big Sandy Fish Creek Park area and would like more information, you can contact Wyn Menefee, Fire Information Office at the Pinedale Ranger District, at 307-367-5720.

Other Fires
Buford Fire: This fire was reported on the Big Piney Ranger District, approximately 9 miles northwest of the Sherman Guard Station, near the headwaters of Grizzly Creek. This fire was quickly responded to by four firefighters and contained at ¼ acre at 2:00 am Wednesday morning.

The Wolf Creek Fire, located in the Snake River Canyon south of Jackson near Wolf Creek, is still burning 70 acres less than 1/2 mile away from highway 26/89. Air operations supplying water from the Snake River and the proximity of this fire to the highway is causing significant traffic congestion in the area. Motorists are cautioned against stopping in the road or parking in turnouts along the highway to look at this fire or helicopters gathering water. There have been several near misses as motorists are paying more attention to the fire than to their driving. Crews have posted and barricaded turnouts near the fire to prevent unnecessary congestion. River users are requested to quickly move through the Wolf Creek Area to prevent delays in Air Operations using the river to supply water to the fire. At this time, three helicopters, three twenty-person hand crews and two Hot Shot crews are working this fire. While high winds yesterday caused air operations to shut down, the steep and rugged terrain in the area actually helped protect the fire from flare-ups normally associated with high winds. As favorable weather conditions are projected for today, fire officials are planning a direct attack on the northern flank with Hotshot crews, while hand crews continue mop-up operations on the ridge, southern flank and bottom drainage areas of this fire. Prevailing winds in this area typically come from the Southwest, pushing the fire Northeast, away from the highway. If in fact the fire does reach the highway, which is unexpected, fire officials will work with Wyoming Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation to minimize closure periods and impacts to travelers. While some outfitter camps exist in the area, there are no structures or developed areas threatened by this fire at this time.

The Bear Cub Fire located on August 26th in the Teton Wilderness, is still estimated at thirty acres. Presently, this fire is confined to its present area and all personnel have been re-assigned to the Wolf Creek Fire. This fire will be monitored closely for the remainder of the season.

The Falcon Fire is still showing slow growth and is approximately 2,900 acres in size. The fire has moved west of Falcon Creek but will eventually run into previously burned areas from 1988. This fire is also confined to its present area and will be monitored for the remainder of the season.

Forest conditions are still extremely dry. While these fires pose no threat to recreation opportunities in the Greater Yellowstone Area at this time, visitors and forest users are encouraged to practice safety when recreating in the Forest or Park. The Bridger-Teton National Forest is still in Partial Fire Restrictions, which limits the use of open fires to developed campground facilities only and prohibits charcoal and wood fires in the backcountry. Only propane or liquid fueled stoves are allowed in back country areas.

See the Teton Fires web site for additional fire information and the latest press releases,

Please report any new smoke columns you see.
Many thanks to everyone who has been so diligent about reporting new fires!

Press Releases:
Click here for the latest:
July 25, 2001 (BTNF/GTNP) Evacuation Ordered for Two Fire Area Subdivisions. Green Knoll Fire Receives Top Priority for Suppression.

July 24, 2001 (BTNF) Green Knoll Fire Experiences Limited Growth
July 24, 2001 (BTNF/GTNP) Green Knoll Fire Area Estimates Reevaluated
July 22, 2001 (BTNF) Green Knoll Fire Update
July 22, 2001 (BTNF) Mosquito Creek Fire Update

July 14, 2001 (BTNF) Lightning Show Sparks More Fires on the BTNF
July 13, 2001 (BTNF) New Fires Ignite as Incident Management Teams Depart BTNF
July 9, 2001 (BTNF) Greys River Complex Fire Fact Sheet
July 8, 2001 (BTNF) Fire Crews Released as Teams get a grip on Complex Fires
July 8, 2001 (BTNF) Greys River Complex Fire Fact Sheet
July 7, 2001 (BTNF) Positive Outlook on BTNF Fisherman Complex Fires
July 7, 2001 (BTNF) Greys River Complex Fire Fact Sheet
July 7, 2001 8:00 am (BTNF) National Teams Arrive on BTNF Fires
July 6, 2001 8:00 am (BTNF) National Teams Called in to Manage BTNF Forest Fires
July 5, 2001 3:00 pm (BTNF) Thirteen Fires Burning on Bridger-Teton National Forest
July 5, 2001 8:00 am (BTNF) Eleven Fires Burning on Bridger-Teton National Forest



Anyone with concerns about fires can contact the Sublette County Sheriff's office at 307-367-4376, or the Pinedale Ranger District, 307-367-4326. Hikers in the wilderness who may have cell phones and can get a signal out can call 911 and ask to be routed to the Sublette County Sheriff's office if they have concerns.

Last Year's Fires: 2000 Fire pages
Pinedale Online front page

Pinedale Online fire update. Local fire status information provided by the Pinedale Ranger District and the Jackson office of the US Forest Service, Bridger-Teton National Forest.  Copyright 2001.