Over the last two days the primary growth of the Neiber Fire 13 miles south-southeast of Worland, Wyoming has been to the southeast, pushed by winds out of the northwest. The map above shows the predicted wind direction for Friday.
Thursday evening information from the Type 3 Incident Management Team indicated it had burned 17,545 acres of private and BLM managed land, an increase of almost 10,000 acres in two days.
The Neiber Fire is spreading through brush and short grass and is threatening facilities in the Murphy Dome Oil Field.
(Originally published at 7:10 p.m. MDT July 15, 2020)
In the 24 hours since the Neiber Fire was reported Tuesday afternoon, by 4 p.m. Wednesday it had grown to 7,800 acres according to the Bureau of Land Management. The fire is in Pistol Draw .
A Type 3 Incident Management Team has been ordered. The firefighters on the ground, including the Palouse hand crew from Idaho and the Black Hats from South Dakota, are being assisted by a DC-10 very large air tanker, large air tankers, single engine air tankers, and helicopters.
We will update this article as more information becomes available.
The Lost Creek Fire in northwest Wyoming had burned 591 acres when a mapping aircraft overflew the fire at 2:36 Sunday morning. The blaze is on the south side of Highway 14/16/20, 23 miles west of Cody and 23 miles east of Yellowstone National Park’s east entrance. It was reported at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Sunday morning the resources assigned or working on the fire included two Type 1 hand crews, multiple engines, two heavy air tankers, three single engine air tankers, two Type 1 helicopters, and one Type 3 helicopter. The Bill Cody Ranch and Rimrock Dude Ranch remain under an evacuation order.
A public meeting will be held at 5:00 p.m. Sunday at the Sheep Mountain Day Use Area of Buffalo Bill State Park. Due to ongoing health concerns, fire managers are asking the public to limit attendance to those directly impacted, and to limit the number of people per household that attend.
Restricting the number of attendees makes sense, but is certainly a change from the pre-COVID policy. It could be helpful if it were also live-streamed and available on the internet.
So far there has been no report of the highway being closed or restricting access to the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Here is a link to Wyoming road information.
Google Maps showed slowing of traffic on the highway at 1:02 p.m. Sunday.
The map below shows the location of the fire relative to Yellowstone and Cody.
Strong winds gusting up to 33 mph along with low humidities caused the Fishhawk Fire to more than double in size Wednesday to 10,321 acres. It spread two miles to the north and the same distance to the south. The spread to the west and east is slowed by steep ridges going up to 9,000 to 11,000 feet. However the overnight mapping shows the northeast section of the fire crossed the ridge at the 9,800-foot level, establishing fire in the adjacent drainage to the east.
During the 12:50 a.m. MDT mapping flight on Thursday the Fishhawk Fire was 1.5 to 2 miles from Highway 14/16/20 and the Camp Buffalo Bill Scout Camp. It is 38 miles west of Cody, Wyoming and about 6 miles east of the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. (see the map above)
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Fishhawk Fire, including the most recent, click here.)
Wednesday night the Park County Sheriff’s Office issued a mandatory evacuation notice for the Scout Camp as well as the cabins in the Kitty Creek drainage.
The evacuation notice said, “…the fire has breached a line of protection that indicates a full evacuation is necessary.”
The Rocky Mountain Type 2 Blue Team assumed command of the fire at 6:00 am. Thursday.
The fire is not being fully suppressed, however the Forest Service will attempt to protect structures and private property.
On Thursday structure protection work continued in the North Fork corridor along Highway 14/16/20. Firefighters have been building fireline around structures in Kitty Creek in addition to implementing structure protection around the nearby lodges. Due to rugged terrain and safety concerns, the southern perimeter of the fire will not be staffed by personnel, but will be monitored by air assets, according to the Incident Management Team.
The day after the fire was detected, Mark Giacoletto, the Shoshone National Forest Fire Management Officer said, “Appropriate actions will be taken when it is needed and where it is safe to do so with the highest probability of success. The amount of standing dead timber and the hazardous terrain in the vicinity of the fire makes it unsafe to put firefighters near the current location of the fire.”
While the 2008 Gunbarrel Fire north of Highway 14/16/20 burned at least 67,000 acres, there have been relatively few fires in recorded history south of the highway. Much of the vegetation in the area has not burned in more than 80 years.
The red dots on the map above represent heat detected on the Fishhawk Fire by a satellite at 2:12 p.m. MDT September 4, 2019. It is uncertain if they indicate actual surface spread of the fire toward the southwest, or if the heat was detected in an intense convection column in the atmosphere above the fire.
The smoke in the upper atmosphere was blowing off to the east, but perhaps lower level local winds, an up-canyon breeze, could have pushed the smoke and the fire to the south. During the fixed wing mapping flight at 8:19 p.m. on September 3 there was intense fire activity on the south edge of the fire.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Fishhawk Fire, including the most recent, click here.)
The Fishhawk Fire is 38 miles west of Cody, Wyoming, six miles east of the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Scroll down to see more maps and information.
(UPDATED at 1:42 p.m. MDT September 4, 2019)
A mapping flight Tuesday night found that the Fishhawk Fire 38 miles west of Cody, Wyoming spread up to about one-quarter mile in all directions Tuesday except on the east side where it has reached a steep hog-back ridge 10,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team will in-brief Wednesday prior to assuming command of the fire.
The resources assigned to the fire as of Tuesday evening included no hand crews, 3 engines, and 3 helicopters for a total of 29 personnel.
The 4,581-acre fire so far is confined to a north-south drainage that has a similar high elevation ridge on the west side. The fire is not being fully suppressed, so it is possible that firefighters are expecting the 10,000-foot ridges with light fuels to contain the perimeter on the east and west sides.
About 3.5 miles to the north is a highly-traveled highway, 14/16/20, leading from Cody to the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park. If it crosses the highway it would be burning on primarily south-facing slopes which would normally be very conducive to additional fire spread. However it would most likely be burning in the footprint of the 2008 Gunbarrel Fire that burned at least 67,000 acres. The light vegetation in the fire scar would present less resistance to control. Like the Fishhawk Fire, the Gunbarrel Fire was not suppressed. On August 15, 2008 the Shoshone National Forest had a plan for the maximum manageable area to cover 416,000 acres.
“The winds are just howling,” Clint Dawson said Wednesday, describing the wind’s rate around the Gunbarrel Fire.
Dawson is the zone fire manager for Shoshone National Forest.
In the valley — in the vicinity of the newly-relocated Gunbarrel Fire camp at Buffalo Bill State Park — the wind was gusting to 40-60 mph in the early afternoon on Wednesday. The new incident command camp is just above the reservoir west of Cody.
An aircraft flying over the fire Wednesday reported winds reaching 115 mph at 11,000 feet, Dawson said.
The fire was spotting on the east side of 12,000-foot high Trout Peak, according to an incident report.
Since the Pedro Mountain Fire started from a lightning strike August 24 it has burned over 19,000 acres in southeast Wyoming. The fire is just east of the Pathfinder Reservoir, 37 miles northeast of Rawlins and 39 miles southwest of Casper. Evacuations are in effect for some areas.
Saturday’s Summary Four hotshot crews, assisted by initial attack crews, completed a large and successful burn operation throughout the southern half of the fire on Saturday. The control line stretched for several miles, including Gooseberry Canyon and areas just west of Carbon County Road 291. This reduced the amount of vegetation in the fire’s path and is a key strategy in the effort to protect homes and property.
Sunday’s Operations While some crews will continue working in the area of yesterday’s successful efforts in the south, other firefighters and engines will be rerouted to the northeast corner near Rocky Gap, where infrared flights show pockets of heat with the potential to spread to uncontrolled fire line. Fire prediction tools used by the incident management team show the fire has the most potential to spread to the east/northeast in the next 24 hours, based on weather and topography. Addressing these hot spots will limit significant fire growth and assist in closing up the containment line.
Crews are working under red flag warning conditions again today, with temperatures in the 90s, low humidity, and strong winds.
The evacuations and closures listed below remain in effect because firefighters are still engaged in efforts to stop the fire from spreading. With uncontrolled lines, the fire has potential to move to the east and south, putting fire and smoke closer to County Road 291. With well over 400 personnel on the fire, large numbers of crews and apparatus need to move unimpeded throughout the fire zone. The incident management team understands the public’s interest in returning to the area and will begin discussing plans with the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office to allow residents access to their homes and properties in a timely manner as soon as the area is safe from further fire spread and other impacts.
Closures / Public Safety Evacuations are still in place for the following areas: Pedro Mountain Estates, Pedro Mountain Ranch Road, and Cardwell Ranch.
Natrona County Road 407 / Carbon County 291 (also known as Kortes Road) is closed from the intersection of Natrona County 408 (also known as Fremont Canyon) south to Leo/Sage Creek until further notice due to fire operations and public safety. The closure includes all roads west of the above location to Pathfinder Reservoir.
The National Park Service recorded audio of flames spreading at the heel, or the back side, of the Maple Fire August 8, 2016 in Yellowstone National Park. Recorded from about 15 feet away, the fire activity was not extremely intense, but at about 14 seconds, you’ll hear a small clump of lodgepole pine trees burst into flames, or “torch.” In listening to the 60-second audio file below, you might want to turn up the volume.
The Maple Fire burned over 40,000 acres northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana.