Crater Ridge Fire in Bighorn NF Passes 3,000 Acres

Crater Ridge Fire in Bighorn NF Passes 3,000 Acres

Written by on August 17, 2021

After a month, the Crater Ridge Fire has burned over 3,000 acres in Bighorn National Forest, with dry, windy weather aiding the flames rather than firefighters.

The Crater Ridge Fire continues to burn through trees and tinder in Bighorn National Forest. As it moves into its fourth week, spotting flames are just as important as stopping them.

Crater Ridge Fire 08-15-21

Courtesy InciWeb

As of Tuesday, August 16, the Crater Ridge Fire is 3,357 acres and 30% contained, with 205 personnel responding on the scene.

InciWeb reports that flames are spreading thanks to “drier and windier weather” over the past few weeks. In addition to group tree torching, flames are now moving in short uphill crown runs. This means flames are moving from treetop to treetop, not just on the ground.

The 205 personnel on the scene spent the weekend continuing to implement the full suppression strategy. Firefighters are currently cold trailing, mopping up, and catching hotspots on the fire’s north perimeter to keep the flames south of Forest Service Road 111.

Other resources on the scene include:

  • Five Hand Crews
  • One Fire module
  • Twelve Engines
  • Two Heavy equipment
  • Five Water tenders
  • One Type 1 helicopter
  • One Type 3 helicopter
  • Air Attack (available in Cody)

In addition to fighting flames, firefighters are using aerial surveys to catch flames before they blaze beyond control.

Drones with infrared technology were deployed on Monday, August 16. This tech assists in the ongoing effort to find spot fires – new fires started by flying sparks and embers.

Fixed-wing aircraft are also surveying the Crater Ridge Fire with infrared technology looking for spot fires.

In the meantime, helicopters continue to use buckets to drop water on the Crater Ridge Fire.

For these reasons, a Temporary Flight Restriction from the Federal Aviation Administration remains in effect. This order prevents private drones and aircraft from interfering with firefighting efforts. The area closure enacted in Bighorn National Forest on July 19 remains in effect.

Crater Ridge Fire Closure Area

Courtesy InciWeb

There is some relief in the forecast. Isolated showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the Bighorn Basin over the next few days – a reprieve from the ongoing dryness.

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