Wildfire forces closure of North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The Horse Pasture Fire has burned about 3,000 acres in the North Dakota park

Map of the Horse Pasture Fire in North Dakota
Map of the Horse Pasture Fire in North Dakota showing heat detected by satellites as late as 5:18 a.m. MDT April 5, 2021.

The Horse Pasture Fire in North Dakota has prompted the closure of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Firefighters have conducted firing operations along two roads in the park near the Visitor Center, US Highway 85 and Scenic Drive, to stop any further spread to the south. Incident Commander Jay Mickey told Wildfire Today Monday morning that the firing went well in that area, but they are concerned about strong north winds that are in the forecast. The National Weather Service predicts for the fire area on Monday, 18 mph winds out of the north gusting at 21 to 28 mph with 22 percent relative humidity and a temperature 53 degrees.

Horse Pasture Fire in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Horse Pasture Fire in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Photo by Nick Ybarra. Posted by the NPS April 5; date taken unknown.

Mr. Mickey said the fire has burned approximately 3,000 acres.

The Horse Pasture Fire started on National Grasslands north of the park on April 3 but as of Sunday night about two-thirds of the blaze was inside the park.

Mr. Mickey, the Incident Commander on the Type 3 incident, is the Assistant Regional Fire Management Officer for the National Park Service’s Midwest Region and works out of their office in Omaha.

Monday morning the park’s website included an alert announcing the closure of the North Unit. The South Unit is still open.

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Gila Fire burns more than 2,000 acres in southwest Arizona

Gila Fire Arizona
Gila Fire map, showing heat detected by a satellite at 2 p.m. MDT April 4, 2021. The highway that goes through Dateland is Interstate 8.

Firefighters have been battling the Gila Fire in southwest Arizona since it was reported at 7:15 a.m. on April 2, 2021. The fire is near the Gila River, north of Interstate 8, and south of Hyder Road. It is 8 air miles northeast of Dateland and 74 miles southwest of Phoenix. A power line is threatened but no structures are endangered.

The Bureau of Land Management said at 2:27 p.m. on Sunday it had burned about 2,112 acres.

Gila Fire Arizona
Gila Fire. InciWeb. Undated or credited.

Fire resources have conducted burnout operations to reduce fuel ahead of the fire to manage fire intensity and tie in to natural features such as rock outcroppings, roads, and areas of lighter vegetation to assist with containment.

Ground and air resources from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management are on scene. On Sunday a total of 22 personnel were assigned to the fire.

Gila Fire Arizona
Gila Fire. InciWeb. Undated or credited.

At 3:52 p.m. Sunday MDT the Oatman weather station northeast of the fire recorded 94 degrees, 5 percent relative humidity, and 12 mph southwest winds gusting to 18 mph.

The forecast for the fire area is not good news for the firefighters. It calls for winds decreasing Sunday night, but on Monday a high of 97 degrees, 7 percent relative humidity, and 16 mph southwest to west winds gusting to 24 mph in the afternoon.

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Fire burns hundreds of acres on Sherman Island in Sacramento River

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Firefighters said the area was inaccessible, and allowed it to burn

Fire on Sherman Island, April 2, 2021.
Fire on Sherman Island, April 2, 2021. Image from NBC SkyRanger.

A wildfire burning on an island east of San Francisco Bay was not suppressed by firefighters on Friday. It generated a large plume of smoke but according to the PIO at Contra Costa Fire, Solano County fire authorities said “The fire is inaccessible and will have to burn itself out.”

The fire is on a section of Sherman Island in the Sacramento River about 600 acres in size.

Map of fire on Sherman Island, April 2, 2021.

Fire on Sherman Island, April 2, 2021.
Fire on Sherman Island, April 2, 2021. Image from NBC SkyRanger.

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The Schroeder Fire at Rapid City as seen from space

Schroeder Fire March 29, 2021
Schroeder Fire March 29, 2021. NASA. Sentinel-2.

The Rapid City office of the National Weather Service acquired these satellites photos of the Schroeder Fire which has burned 2,195 acres just west of their city.

Here is how they described the photos in a Tweet Thursday evening:

“Sentinel-2 satellite views of Schroeder Fire on Mar. 29 (when it started) and today (Apr. 1). The red hot spots are not apparent today, and the reddish-brown area shows the extent of the fire. White = clouds in first image (black = shadows). Green = vegetation.”

Schroeder Fire April 1, 2021
Schroeder Fire April 1, 2021. NASA. Sentinel-2.

More information about the Schroeder Fire.

The NWS office in Rapid City is on a hill about four miles due east of the Schroeder Fire. They probably had an excellent view of the fire, if the smoke permitted.

You can follow the Rapid City NWS on Twitter: @NWSRapidCity

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