Wildfire activity increases in MT, ID, WY

Map of fires Wyoming Idaho Montana, 1140 MT 8-25-2011

Click to enlarge. Map showing heat detected by satellites on fires in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. 11:40 a.m. MT 8-25-2011. MODIS

The national Incident Management Situation Report for this morning only lists 14 uncontained large fires in the United States, but the map above which shows (in red) heat on fires detected by satellites, appears to show more than 14 in just the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.

Some areas of Idaho and northwest Wyoming experienced some dry lightning Wednesday afternoon and there is a chance that scattered thunderstorms will produce more of those dry strikes across the west through this weekend.

Hole In The Wall Fire

Hole In The Wall Fire. Photo by Dewey Vanderhoff

Below is an excerpt from InciWeb about the Hole in the Wall fire which straddles the Wyoming/Montana border about 10 miles south of Red Lodge, MT.

The Hole in the Wall Fire grew to 4491 acres yesterday and is at 10% containment. Downdrafts from an unanticipated thunder-cell fanned areas of firing operation that was completed earlier in the afternoon. The fire has crossed into Montana and is burning in North Line Creek, in steep and rugged terrain. A fire weather watch is in effect today, from this afternoon through this evening; thunderstorms will move north of the fire area and may produce gusty winds from the northwest and north.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team, Rocky Mountain Team C [Incident Commander Joe Lowe], has assumed command.

A reporter for the Billings Gazette interviewed a resident of Lame Deer, MT about the Waterhole fire. She told the reporter that she knew the fire was getting close after hundreds of grasshoppers and birds started moving south ahead of the flames.

Hole In The Wall Fire

Hole In The Wall Fire. Highway 120 at WY 294 junction. Photo by Dewey Vanderhoff

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+