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Jun 30, 2012 6:02 PM by NORTHERN ROCKIES INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM

Ash Creek Fire 156,288 acres, 25% contained

UPDATE: The Ash Creek fire is currently at 156,288 acres with 25% containment. Due to fuel and weather conditions, the Ash Creek fire made significant movement to the east with running crown fire and long-range spotting, and is now threatening residences in the Wilbur, Whitetail, Beaver Creek and East Fork of Otter Creek areas. The Powder River County Sheriff is currently advising residents in these areas to evacuate their homes immediately. Evacuations for the town of Ashland have been lifted, other evacuation orders remain in place.

Forecasted weather for tonight and tomorrow will not provide fire personnel relief in this fire behavior. Due to the warm temperatures and the lack of recovery in relative humidity levels at night, it is expected that the Ash Creek fire will remain active tonight. Predicted weather conditions for tomorrow are temperate in the mid 90s, low relative humidity levels and continued winds.

Residences remain threatened, portions of Highway 212 remain closed due to fire activity and smoke, and all evacuations remain in-place. The Ashland Ranger District of the Custer National Forest will enter into Stage 2 fire restrictions, for more details go to the Forest website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/custer/


There are new evacuations tonight for the Ash Creek fire. Here's the latest release from the Northern Rockies Incident Command Team:

IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION: Evacuations are in progress in the East Fork of Otter Creek, Beaver Creek and Whitetail Creek areas. Due to weather and fuel conditions, the Ash Creek fire spread significantly to the east and continues to actively burn in that direction. Structures are threatened and evacuations of those residences, along with any visitors in or around the Whitetail Cabin and Holiday Campground, are in progress.

Hot temperatures, very low relative humidity levels and strong sustained northwest winds at 20-25 mph today combined to create extreme fire activity and spread to the east toward the areas that are now threatened. The Powder River County Sheriff is currently working to evacuate the threatened areas.

Although tonight's weather forecast predicts somewhat lower temperatures and higher relative humidity levels, fire behavior and spread is expected to continue throughout the night. Last night the highest humidity level recorded in the fire area was only 29%. Highway 212 remains closed to thru traffic.

More Information: Visit Inciweb at www.inciweb.org, email ashcreekfireinfo@gmail.com or call fire information staff, Pat McKelvey at 406-459-8225 or Kathy Bushnell 406-422-7164.

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