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Park County fires to be managed as a single complex

Published On: Aug 17 2013 11:02:24 AM MDT
wildfire
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The following is a news release from the Gallatin Media Center.

Miner Paradise Complex
(Emigrant, North Eightmile and Sheep Creek Fires)
Update: August 17, 2013 @ 9:00 a.m.

Contact: Karen Tuscano 406-223-2028
Mariah Leuschen 406-548-1174

A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and will take over command of the Emigrant, North Eightmile, and Sheep Fires Sunday morning after an initial briefing that will occur Saturday afternoon. Warm and dry weather will continue over the area today which could result in increased fire activity on all three fires.

FIRE NAME: North Eightmile Fire
DATE OF DETECTION: August 16, 2013
CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: approximately 48 acres
CONTAINMENT: 0%
LOCATION: North Fork Eightmile Creek, approximately 20 miles southwest of Livingston
AGENCY: Gallatin National Forest
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 8 firefighters, 1 single engine air tanker

FRIDAY’S ACTIVITY: The North Eightmile Fire was detected Friday just prior to noon in the North Fork Eightmile Creek drainage approximately 300 yards below the Gallatin Crest ridgeline. Eight smokejumpers jumped the fire in the early afternoon and were assisted with a helicopter dropping water and 1 large air tanker and 1 single engine air tanker dropping retardant. The fire grew to 48 acres before fire activity decreased as the sun went down.

SATURDAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: A recon flight will occur over the fire Saturday morning. Firefighters will work to find a safe anchor point and begin building direct fireline on the west side of the fire where it is safe to do so. A single engine air tanker will be available to assist firefighters.

CLOSURES & OTHER INFORMATION: No closures on this fire at this time.

FIRE NAME: Emigrant Fire

DATE OF DETECTION: July 21, 2013
CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: approximately 625 acres
CONTAINMENT: 5%
LOCATION: South of Emigrant Peak, between Gold Prize Creek and North Fork Sixmile Creek
AGENCY: Gallatin National Forest
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 1 helicopter, 2 engines, and overhead for a total of 20 personnel.

- MORE -
FRIDAY’S ACTIVITY: Fire activity increased on the south side of the fire on Friday due to the warm and very dry weather. Firefighters saw the fire make short uphill runs up into burned areas. A significant amount of drift smoke is moving into this area from Idaho and southwest Montana. For a detailed map showing where smoke is coming from, please go to http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/land/hms.html. Fire officials continue to receive detailed long and short term weather forecasts on a daily basis. A long term strategy is in place for the Emigrant Fire, and predetermined actions will be implemented when the weather conditions and fire behavior indicate the need.

SATURDAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: A recon flight will occur over the fire Saturday morning. Firefighters will continue to monitor the Emigrant Fire from the Sixmile area, as well as from the remote camera that was installed north of the fire.

CLOSURES & OTHER INFORMATION: The Forest Service portion of Sixmile Creek Road from its junction with the Dailey Lake Road will be closed until further notice.
The Sixmile Creek Trial (#61) and North Fork of Sixmile Creek Trail (#606) will be closed to their junction with Trail #601 north of Monitor Peak. Connector Trail #601 will remain open.
People traveling near the Emigrant Fire Helibase are urged to be cautious of fire personnel and the helicopter operating near Conlin Road.

FIRE NAME: Sheep Fire

DATE OF DETECTION: August 12, 2013
CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: approximately 20 acres
CONTAINMENT: 0%
LOCATION: Sawtooth Mountain in Tom Miner Basin, approximately 25 miles northwest of Gardiner
AGENCY: Gallatin National Forest
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 1 helicopter, 6 firefighters

FIRE HISTORY AND FRIDAY’S ACTIVITY: The Sheep Fire was first detected on Monday, August 12th near the ridgeline on Sawtooth Mountain. Firefighters could not access the fire due to the extremely steep and difficult terrain. A helicopter dropped water on the fire on Monday, and the fire received ¼ inch of rain on Tuesday. On Wednesday, fire personnel flew over the fire and saw a black log without any smoke coming from it. Firefighters scouted for smoke on Thursday, but did not see anything. Smoke was seen coming from the fire area again on Friday morning, and 2 firefighters were dispatched to hike to the fire. As they were hiking, fire activity increased significantly and torched trees near the ridgeline. The firefighters could not engage the fire with the increased activity, so they monitored the fire from a safe position. Helicopters were not able to drop water on the fire due to the strong winds.

SATURDAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: A recon flight will occur over the fire area Saturday morning. A helicopter will be available for bucket drops today. Firefighters will be monitoring fire activity from near Grizzly Creek Ranch.

FIRE WEATHER: Very dry air will be over the area this afternoon with relative humidity values in the 10-15% range, and the dry air will remain tonight with very poor humidity recoveries expected overnight. Saturday’s forecast high temperature is 86 degrees. Occasional gusty winds can be expected through late this afternoon but will diminish by evening. A weak disturbance will be moving across the area late tomorrow afternoon and will bring a few isolated thunderstorms. The main threat from these storms will be gusty winds with speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Temperatures will be slightly cooler Sunday, but humidities will remain in the 15-20% range.

CLOSURES & OTHER INFORMATION: No closures on this fire at this time.