Battle Mountain Fire
Fire Update, Thursday, August 24, 11:00 AM
August 24, 2006
Size: Fire estimated to be 160 acres as of 8:00 am, Thursday, August 24.
Location: The fire is located in the Moose-Gypsum area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest land, outside the wilderness boundary, approximately five miles east of Cora Highway 352. It is approximately two miles northeast of the Red Cliff Bible Camp and 4.5 miles from the nearest private residences.
The Jim Creek fire is roughly four miles to the south, one drainage over from this new fire. "Jim Creek is somewhat of an established buffer for this new fire since it has already burned," said Williams. "If the fire should go over, it would bump right into it and change the fire behavior. That’s why fire is such a good tool," she added.
Green River Lakes and campground are approximately five miles to the northeast of this fire as the crow flies. Campers and hikers in the area will be able to see smoke from this fire, the Purdy fire to the northwest and possibly some from the Jim Creek fire to the southwest. Campers and hikers in the New Fork Lakes area will also be able to see smoke from these fires at various times, depending on fire activity.
Closures: The Moose-Gypsum road #680 is completely closed on National Forest land, from both the Hwy 352 side on the west and the Green River Lakes road side on the east. The road near the homes is open to local traffic for residents, but closed to the general public.
The road closure is being enforced by sheriff’s deputies. People who live in the area can go in, but the Forest Service requests that residents keep traffic to a minimum because that is the only access road into the area of the fire. The closure is in effect for public and firefighter safety. There are NO trail closures at this time due to this fire. Hikers are advised to check in before hiking in the area and keep informed of current advisories. Use caution if recreating in the general area. Forest personnel are out patrolling and advising campers in the area of the fire status.
Fire managers ask that the general public please stay out of the Moose-Gypsum area, both from the west and east access sides. Hikers in the area should use caution and stay informed of fire advisories. The campground host at Green River Lakes campground also has current fire status information.
Cell phone reception: Campers and hikers are advised that cell phone reception is very spotty in the mountains in this area, so hikers and campers likely will not be able to call in or out to get more information while they are in remote locations in this area.
Cause: lightning (confirmed)
Resources on the fire: “We have quite a few resources on order,” said Williams. Last night firefighters from several Sublette County town volunteer fire departments and Forest Service personnel were working on the fire. Two helicopters were brought in to drop water and retardant was brought in. Sublette County Road and Bridge was expected to bring in two dozers today to help with the fire, Sublette County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Hanson told us last night.
"This is nature’s way of cleaning up the bug kill," Williams added. "This fire is a great reminder that people need to create defendable space around their homes if they are going to live in an urban interface. Lightning is going to happen. Fire fighters need to be able to get in to protect the area."
Fire Danger and Restrictions: Fire danger is currently VERY HIGH on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. No campfire restrictions are in effect at the moment, but Forest officials are talking about it and they may go into place later today.
More information: For more information about this fire, call Leslie Williams, Fire Prevention and Education officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, 307-739-5424. The Pinedale Ranger District office front desk people can answer questions for walk-in traffic, but it is best to call Williams for more information over the phone. Fire information, maps and photos will be posted shortly on the InciWeb fire website: www.inciweb.org.
Bridger-Teton National Forest, http://www.fs.fed.us/btnf/