Posted: Sep 9, 2012 8:33 AM by Q2 News
The Pine Creek Fire is just over 50% contained today and remains around 8,000 acres. On Saturday the fire was active in the Pine Creek drainage, high up on the slope. The fuels burning were interior of the fire's edge. The west side of the fire was quiet, and the structure protection group searched for hot-spots near structures. The fire in the Deep Creek area was more active yesterday than in the past couple of days due to the hot, dry and windy conditions. Helicopters dropped water to cool the fire. No smokes were seen at the head of Davis Creek.
Thermal belts, with cold air above and below warmer air, were present on the mountain last night; resulting in lower relative humidity recovery in some areas.
There is a RED FLAG WARNING in effect through Tuesday for dry thunderstorms, low humidity and gusty southwest winds, followed by a dry cold front and a wind shift. The Jet Stream will produce a potential for thunderstorms and associated gusty outflow winds up to 45 mph or greater later this afternoon. Temperatures will approach 90 degrees, and minimum relative humidity will dip near 12%. Winds will start from the southwest 20-30 mph, with increasing gusts during the afternoon hours.
The fire may become more active earlier in the day due to fuels remaining dry through the night and the predicted weather conditions. Fire managers will fly over the fire this morning and develop a strategy for helicopter bucket drops in the Deep Creek and Pine Creek drainages. Rehabilitation of unneeded dozer lines will continue today. A group of engines will be available to assist the mop-up operations and respond to new initial attack fire starts in the area.
Poncins' Type I Team will transfer command of the incident to a Type III Incident Management Team this afternoon. The team will relocate camp to the Loch Leven Fishing Access Site, which will be closed to the public beginning Sunday, September 9, 2012 until further notice.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 181 personnel assigned, including 2 crews, 9 engines, 5 water tenders, and 3 helicopters.
SPECIAL MESSAGES & OTHER INFORMATION: Fuels in the area are extremely dry and receptive to burning. People who are interested in viewing the fire are encouraged to use Mallard's Rest fishing access site on Highway 89, and refrain from stopping on East River Road. Loch Leven fishing access site on the Yellowstone River south of Livingston will be closed to the public beginning Sunday, September 9, 2012.
Areas currently under a pre-evacuation notice (Deep Creek, Upper Deep Creek Bench, Swingley, West Boulder, George Creek, Pool Creek, Pine Creek, Barney Creek and Lower Luccock Park) will remain in that status until the threat is completely removed. The pre-evacuation notice encourages residents to keep their bags packed and ready to go in the event the fire activity picks up again, given certain fire behavior conditions (weather, drying of fuels, topographic alignment).
People are urged to travel slowly and cautiously with the increased fire traffic and school buses on the roads. Be sure to obey all traffic signs and drive defensively Roads closed to travel by the general public include the following: Deep Creek, Deep Creek Bench, Lower Deep Creek Bench and Upper Luccock Park.
The area closure on the Gallatin National Forest is still in effect, including the Pine Creek Campground and Trailhead.
Residents that are returning to their homes are encouraged to stay at their property. Residents are also encouraged to stay off the roads during the early morning and early evening hours to prevent interfering with firefighters accessing and leaving the fire area. Residents should be aware that helicopters could still be flying overhead, as they are assisting firefighters on the ground on the southern and northern portions of the fire.
Parents of children riding a school bus should escort their children to the bus stop and stay with them until the bus arrives; parents should meet their students at the end of the school day at the bus stop.