Fire Updates from Montana and Wyoming
Written by Andrew-Rossi on September 7, 2017
Currently there are three fires burning in Wyoming – the Pole Creek Fire in the Bridger-Teton National Forest has burned over 3500 acres so far, but as of yesterday was at 55% containment. The Keystone Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest is still labeled as “active,” according to InciWeb, but hasn’t seen any real activity for several weeks. The June Fire west of Cody is still smoldering, but has not grown in size since July.
Montana fires, however, continue to burn out of control. There are 44 active fires burning in that state, which have caused smoke to hang in the air in Northwest Wyoming. According to the National Weather Service, the expected wind patterns will continue to bring smoky air to this region for the foreseeable future.
However, vast stands of dead timber in Western states have forced firefighters to shift tactics, trying to stay out of the shadow of the lifeless, unstable trees that could come crashing down with deadly force.
U.S. Forest Service statistics show that about 6.3 billion dead trees are still standing in 11 western states, up from 5.8 billion five years earlier. The Forest Service says about 20 percent were likely killed by a massive beetle outbreak.