More on the Horse Creek Fire
by Pinedale Online!
June 21, 2007
9:00 PM Update, Thursday, July 21: We received more information this evening about the wildfire that is burning in the Horse Creek drainage west of Daniel in the Wyoming Range this afternoon (Thursday).
The fire went from 30 acres around 3:00 PM to 560 acres by 8:00 PM. Around 4:00 PM, additional firefighter crews from Sublette County were dispatched to the scene. In all, wildland fire engine crews from Pinedale, Big Piney/Marbleton, Daniel, Kendall, Boulder and Bondurant volunteer fire departments responded to the blaze.
As of 8:30 PM, the Forest Service had four of their own engines at the scene and one Type III helicopter working the fire.
The Forest Service has ordered another Type II helicopter and two, 20-person type III hand crews, which are expected to arrive by 10:00 AM tomorrow morning (Friday). The Southwest Wyoming Type III Team has been dispatched to oversee the fire management.
A report from the scene by Mark Randall, acting Incident Commander from the Pinedale Ranger District, as told to BTNF Public Information Office Nan Stinson around 8:00 PM, reported that the fire remained around 560 acres. It had reached the junction of the Pass Creek Road and Horse Creek Road this evening. Most of the fire is on the north side of the Horse Creek Road, but there has been some spotting on the south side. Randall reported there had been “some extreme fire behavior” during the afternoon. A base camp and helibase have been set up at Sherman Guard Station on the Horse Creek Road.
According to Bob Rule, owner of KPIN 101.1 FM radio, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office called and asked that he pass on their request that the public please not go out to the fire area just to get a closer look. There is a lot of emergency vehicle firefighter traffic on the road because of the fire. Sublette County Dispatch told us this evening that people were being let out, but not into the fire area. The Horse Creek Road is accessed off Highway 191 just north of the Daniel Junction, on Highway 354. There are ranches and private homes in the vicinity, but at this time no structures or private residences are threatened.
Below is a news release from the Bridger-Teton National Forest that came in around 4:30 PM this afternoon.
4:30 PM, 6/21/07
Horse Creek Fire Burning on the Bridger-Teton National Forest
Bridger-Teton National Forest
(Big Piney) – A fire started on the Big Piney Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest at approximately 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. The Horse Creek Fire is roughly 40-acres in size and is burning 8-miles west of the town of Merna off of the Horse Creek Road. There are no structures threatened and no trail closures are expected at this time.
The cause of the fire is unknown and there are several Interagency crews working on keeping the fire north of the highway. The fire danger for the Bridger-Teton is listed as moderate. “It is bone dry out there,” said Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton. “I can’t stress enough how important it is going to be that we are all careful with fire while we are out and about on the Forest,” she said.
The Horse Creek fire is burning in lodgepole and alpine fir trees. This fire is in almost the same area as the 2002 Mule fire, and is burning in a 300-acre swath that was unburned from the previous fire. For more information, visit www.tetonfires.com.
(For clarification, there is no town of Merna in existence today. “Merna” is just a collection of mailboxes at a crossroads on the Horse Creek road. It still appears as a named town on some maps.)
To date, there have been three other small fires since May on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, ranging in size from 1/10 to 5 acres. All were extinguished the same day they were reported:
5/13/07: Sheep Creek Fire, Hoback Junction, 1/10 acre
5/27/07: Memorial Fire, Big Piney, 5 acres
6/4/07: Irene Fire, Big Piney, ½ acre
Fire danger is currently rated as Moderate on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and no restrictions are in place. The public is reminded that fireworks are prohibited at all times from public land in Sublette County (federal and county) at all times during the year.
Bridger-Teton National Forest (fire page)
Teton Fires Interagency website, www.tetonfires.com