This photo taken at 4 p.m. Sunday showed the two fronts of the Burroughs Fire in relation to Ramshorn Peak. Photo credit Wanda Houck.
(Dubois, Wyo.) – Over 70 Dubois residents attended a public meeting held at the Dubois Volunteer Fire department building last night hosted by the US Forest Service to brief the public on the status and management plans for the Burroughs Fire. The fire is burning about 12 miles due north of Dubois, to the west of the Horse Creek Road.
Overviews of the fire’s progression, management actions and future planning for management were presented by Carl Jungk, Rick Metzger, Nick Piper and incident commander Craig Haslam.
The following summary of action was presented:
The FS received a smoke report early Friday morning which upon locating, was attempted to be suppressed.
The fire was located in a steep, inaccessible area with significant dead and downed trees and quickly got into the bottom of Brent Creek. Local, County and US Forest Service crews tried to keep the fire on the west side of Burroughs Creek Road using water drops from planes and helicopters on day one. Wind conditions drove the fire quickly to the east as well as north and south that day.
Values at risk were identified, with the T Cross Ranch and Moose Willow Ranch noted as values most at risk as well as additional private properties and structures in the immediate area.
Management goals identified were to try to slow fire growth, put structure protection into place (primarily at T Cross Ranch and Moose Willow Ranch), direct the fire behavior and keep all firefighter safe.
Incident commander Craig Haslam stated that the fire had grown significantly on Sunday, over the 1,000 acres listed on inciweb.com and that an infra red flight would take place Sunday evening after dark to determine the new acreage.
On Monday morning, officials reported the updated size of the fire at 1,794 acres. At Sunday’s meeting, Haslam noted the fire had spread primarily to the north and west on Sunday. Haslam also stated that back fires were intentionally set to direct the course of fire around and south of Parque Creek Road to protect the T Cross Ranch. While there is significant heat in the areas surrounding T Cross and Moose Willow Ranches, overall the prognosis was optimistic that the 2 ranches would survive the fire.
On Sunday afternoon, the Burroughs Fire had crept to within one-half to three-quarters of a mile to structures of the T-Cross and Moose Willow Ranches. Firefighters engaged the fire on the east side of Ranger Ridge above the structures of both ranches. Structures there were prepped to withstand the passage of fire using sprinklers. Structure protection will also focus on keeping fire west of private property in the Horse Creek drainage and north of Forest Service Road (FSR) 285. There are four residences with another 20 structures or other facilities threatened from the fire.
Monday’s goal is to hold the fire where burnout operations were performed along the Parque Creek Road (FSR 504). Management strategy is to keep fire west of Forest Service Road 507 and north of Forest Service Road 285 while minimizing exposure to ground crews and air resources through indirect firefighting.
Monday’s Fact Sheet from fire managers on the Shoshone National Forest included the following information:
Resources Assigned: 174 personnel: Three type II crews, two Type I crews, two Type III helicopters, one Type II helicopter, one Type I helicopter, and eight engines. Helicopters will be used for bucket drops as needed to support ground crews. Air tankers will not be used today.
Fire danger/Growth Potential: High/High
Closures: US Forest Service Roads 510 (Burroughs Creek Loop), 285 (Horse Creek Road) and 511 (Brent Creek Road) are closed. The fire area is closed; please see map on Inciweb (www.inciweb.org) or on sign boards.
Evacuations: T-Cross and Moose Willow Ranches, Horse Creek Campground, and Double Cabin Campground are under mandatory evacuation. The Old Livingston Place is under pre-evacuation notice; residents are encourages to be prepared and ready to leave.
Facilities Threatened: Four residences, 20 outbuilding/other structures, one campground, one guard station.