Posted: Jun 28, 2012 10:48 AM by MTN News
PONY- The Pony Fire is currently estimated at 6,400 acres and is 0% contained.
Two structures have been lost and 80 residences, including the Indiana University Field Station, are threatened by the blaze, which is burning 10 miles west of Pony in the Tobacco Root Mountains in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
Residents in the Mammoth and South Boulder River area above the Indiana University Field Station are still evacuated.
Lighter winds on Wednesday helped fire managers to better assess the fire and develop a strategy for containment. Structure assessments and protection measures continued around threatened structures and communities.
Firefighters, with the help of dozers and helicopters, began constructing fireline along the northern and eastern perimeters of the fire. Early Wednesday morning, evacuees were briefly escorted back into their homes to retrieve some personal belongings.
There are five 20-person crews, 10 engines, three dozers and four helicopters with 231 people fighting the blaze.
Thursday's weather is expected to be favorable for firefighting efforts. Structure protection measures will continue to be implemented along the South Boulder River, around Mammoth and south of Indiana University Field Station. Firefighters will begin fireline construction along the southwestern flank (in areas northeast of Mammoth) and will continue along the north flank in the vicinity of Carmichael and Antelope Creeks.
A closure order has been issued by the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest prohibiting use of National Forest roads and trails within the Pony Fire area.