Five pieces of equipment burned Tuesday September 12 in the Sheep Gap Fire near Thompson Falls, Montana. Irv Leach, the Incident Commander whose Incident Management Team had just arrived at the fire, said two Temco feller bunchers, one dozer, a skidder and a pickup truck burned when firefighters and operators were forced to abandon the area as the fire spread toward their location.
Mr. Leach said in a news release:
As the afternoon progressed, the temperature and wind began to increase; relative humidity began to decrease and the fire became very active. Because of the very low fuel moistures and poor humidity recovery from the night before, the fire became active and burned very rapidly. This fire condition and rates of spread made it unsafe for firefighters and equipment operators to remain. A safety decision was made to abandon the operation and retreat to established safety zones.
Thankfully there were no injuries, but the equipment did not fare as well, as you can see in the photos below.
Since the Sheep Gap Fire started August 28, it has burned over 20,000 acres.