Bighorn National Forest Continues Fighting Crater Ridge Fire
Written by Andrew-Rossi on August 3, 2021
Ongoing efforts to contain the Crater Ridge Fire in Bighorn National Forest are going well, with new teams implementing old strategies to stop its spread.
According to the latest update from the U.S. Forest Service, a Type 3 organization assumed command of the Crater Ridge Fire on Monday, August 2. This team will be guiding the full suppression strategy still being employed in Bighorn National Forest to control and contain the flames.
Since first igniting on July 17, the Crater Ridge Fire has grown to 685 acres, and is 0% percent contained.
As of Monday, August 2, fire activity is being described as “mostly smoldering and creeping in areas of heavy fuel.” This heavy timber is fueling the fires and preventing rain from reaching the flames due to a dense canopy.
Indirect containment lines are the “weapon of choice” for the firefighters onsite. Natural barriers and heavy machinery are being utilized to accelerate the work. The containment lines are being placed in anticipation of future fire activity to control the fire’s spread and direction.
Currently, firefighters are continuing to construct a handline in a northern section of the indirect containment line area inaccessible to heavy machinery. Working counterclockwise around the fire, another three to five days of barrier construction is expected.
Weather forecasts for Bighorn National Forest seem promising, with any precipitation providing welcome assistance to the on-site resources.
On Monday, high pressure started to break down, bringing a chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tuesday’s forecast also calls for a chance for slow-moving showers and thunderstorms.
Unfortunately, smoke from the Crater Ridge Fire is likely to persist in northwestern Wyoming skies for the discernible future. As a result, Wyoming’s air quality continues to be impacted by this fire and others in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
The area closure implemented during the first days of the fire remains in effect. A sizeable portion of Bighorn National Forest remains closed to all vehicles and recreation while the fire remains active.
The Federal Aviation Administration has enacted a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) for the fire area and the nearby Stagecoach Reservoir. Drones are hazardous for pilots and ground crews, so that no pilots may operate an aircraft in the area.