Fishhawk Fire Blows Up; Three Fires Split Attention of Fire Managers
Written by andrew-rossi on September 5, 2019
The Fishhawk Fire west of Cody has expanded rapidly in the last 12 hours.
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team has assumed command of the fire as of 6:00 AM today, and reports that the fire grew to 10,321 acres overnight, according to the infrared flight.
The Fishhawk Fire, which is located 40 miles west of Cody within the Washakie Wilderness, is in rugged, hazardous terrain four miles south of U.S. Highway 14/16/20, moving in a northeast direction. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A mandatory evacuation notice was issued late yesterday evening by the National Forest Service for the cabins in the Kitty Creek drainage as well as the Buffalo Bill Boy Scout Camp.
The Park County Sheriff’s Office says residents of cabins and homes in these areas need to leave the area immediately due to the encroaching Fishhawk Fire. An informational staging area has been established for evacuees in the Cody Courthouse parking lot for questions relating to the evacuation.
Shoshone National Forest Fire personnel are making preparations to protect the properties in this area, but the fire has breached a line of protection that indicates a full evacuation is necessary.
The National Weather Service reports that very warm to hot conditions and moderate winds will lead to elevated fire conditions across the area today.
A fire in the Sulphur Creek area of Sunlight Basin is splitting the attention of fire managers.
The Stink Water Fire, near Stinking Water Peak, was reported Tuesday afternoon. Initial estimates were that the fire was about 50 acres in size, but Kristie Salzmann with the Shoshone National Forest says a crew on the ground was able to revise that report to around 25 acres.
A Type 1 helicopter was used from the neighboring Fishhawk Fire to drop water on the fire and smoke jumpers were inserted. Salzmann says this is a full suppression fire in an area of heavy dead and downed timber.
A third fire west of Cody has been reported in the last few days, but it is of lesser concern to fire managers.
On Sunday, September 1st, while on patrol, a backcountry ranger detected the lightning-ignited Wahb Fire near Cache Creek in the northeast corner of Yellowstone.
At a half-acre, current fire activity is minimal, and there are no closures in the area. Campsites and trails remain open.
Park officials say fire staff will monitor the situation, and if the Wahb Fire becomes more active, smoke may be visible from the Lamar Valley.
The Wahb Fire is one of four active fires in Yellowstone including the Pollux, the Wyodaho and the Brimstone.