Fish Fire in northeast Wyoming is now 44-percent contained

News StaffAugust 5, 2022News
courtesy photoFish Fire on Thursday.

SUNDANCE, Wyo. – As of 8:00 a.m. today Crook County will be lifting all evacuations for Fish Fire residents. As residents return home, they should be aware of fire traffic and incoming wet weather which could make road surfaces slick and cause debris movement in fire scars.  The Forest remains under an area closure (see Closures and Restrictions section below).

Current Situation: During the past 24 hours, fire activity remained minimal, and no growth occurred. This allowed crews to continue to focus on fireline construction and recently detected spot fires in Divisions K and T. It is important to address spot fires early while they are small as they can flare up when conditions become hotter and drier potentially compromising firelines. Due to success securing existing firelines, containment was increased to 44%, which occurred in Divisions K and M. In Division A, few resources conducted patrols on contained sections of line allowing for the bulk of resources assigned to this division to work on the north end and in Division T.

Today, crews will take advantage of higher humidity and cooler temperatures, as fire behavior is expected to be diminished once again. They will continue to focus in Division T where the majority of fire activity and heat have been. Recently detected spot fires and places where the fire moved across, or “slopped over” the established fireline will be worked again. On other sections of the fire, crews will continue building and strengthening firelines aided by dozers and helicopters and will also patrol contained sections of line. In the coming days, once firefighters are able to secure existing firelines and connect them together, containment will continue to rise.

Branch I Division K: Yesterday, containment was added in this division connecting with the existing contained line to the south. Work continued on the spot fire and firefighters are confident the spot will remain in its current footprint. Today, firefighters will proceed with constructing line directly on the fire edge and maintaining secured lines. No additional firing operations are anticipated.

Division M also increased containment across the top and to the northeast corner. In this corner, fire hoses were laid out and plumbed to allow for mop up and extinguishing of heat sources. Today, firefighters will be supported with continuous water allowing for more thorough mop up and dousing of hot spots that threaten firelines.    

Branch III: Division T challenged firefighters yesterday because of burning heavy fuels near the line and steep slopes. This resulted in firefighters continuing to find small “slop overs” that required extra care to secure. Fortunately, conditions still allowed for direct attack operations, which will continue today.

Division A was patrolled throughout yesterday and remained stable along the contained section. Resources continued with direct attack, building containment line to the north, and also augmented resources in the adjoining division (T).  Firefighting tactics will be unchanged today.      

Structure Group: Fire managers refined the last several days planning efforts and began developing implementation strategies. This included ordering a chipper and box truck to remove vegetation cut during fireline construction and structure protection operations. Chipped materials can be spread out and used to reduce erosion by catching and slowing water runoff where needed.  Today’s work will be an expansion of efforts from the last few days in addition to the chipping work.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: A low pressure will begin to move into the area this afternoon with a 40% chance of rain this evening. Temperatures will be in the upper 80s with humidity about 25%, and light winds around 5-10 mph.  Winds will increase in speed gusting up to 30 mph and switch direction to the north and northeast commensurate with the arrival of the front. Lightning is also predicted. This morning, an inversion will remain in place until mid-morning when heat from the sun breaks it up. Fire behavior is expected to remain similar to the last several days with overall activity moderated except in heavy fuels where pockets of heat exist.

Closures and Fire Restrictions: 

An Area Closure is in place for the Fish Fire on Black Hills National Forest. For additional information, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/notices/?cid=STELPRDB5117120.

For fire restrictions on all lands within the Black Hills, visit http://www.blackhillsfirerestrictions.com/