Purdy Fire Update: Sept. 5
70% contained, 23,000 acres
September 5, 2006
A burn out operation was conducted on the Purdy Fire near Washakie Park Monday, allowing firefighters to reach 70% containment on the wildfire. The operation used natural barriers and fire to reduce the length of active fire perimeter. Operations Section Chief Ron Klatt explained; "First, we isolate spot fires and mop them up. Once these spots are out, we can go more direct using natural barriers coupled with burn out tactics. This helps us get closer to the main fire. In effect, we reduce the fire perimeter and the risk of further fire spread."
Residents will observe increased smoke due to the burn out operations. Future burn outs will be evaluated on a day to day basis dependant upon weather and fire activity.
The fire is burning west of Union Pass, approximately 20 miles from Dubois. It was started by lightning on August 4th. Three hundred structures on the Shoshone National Forest side of Union Pass are threatened by this blaze. There are 340 personnel assigned to fight the Purdy fire, including five Type II Regular crews, one Hotshot crew, four helicopters, nine engines, and three water tenders. Fixed wing air tankers are available for aerial retardant drops as needed. The fire has cost more than $9 million dollars to date to fight.
Forest visitors are reminded that fire danger is VERY HIGH to EXTREME. Fire restrictions are in effect. Campfires are allowed in developed campgrounds only.
A closure remains in effect for an area around the Purdy fire. The Union Pass road is no longer within the closure area and traffic can now go over the top to Dubois. The Forest Service asks the public to please drive slowly along the Union Pass road, which is narrow with limited sight distance in places. All terrain vehicle users in particular are asked to slow down and watch for fire traffic on roads in the area.
Purdy fire information inquiries: 307-455-2466
Purdy fire info on the web: www.inciweb.org/incident/402