Robertson Draw Fire Leads to Partial Closure of Buffalo Bill Reservoir
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 21, 2021
The Robertson Draw is far from contained, but its growth has slowed – and now the fight to stop its spread is more directly affecting Cody and Park County.
As of Sunday, June 20, the Robertson Draw Fire has grown to 29,437 acres and is 13% contained. InciWeb confirms the fire is “human-caused,” but the exact circumstances remain unknown.
The fire is now within seven miles of Red Lodge, Montana, but no evacuation order is in place. Two hundred ninety-six personnel are now responding to the fire on the ground primarily focused on structure preservation.
There is now some containment of the Robertson Draw Fire. The latest report says a fire line was constructed along the fire’s south side, utilizing an existing fire scar. The line is indirect – meaning it’s been built by hand or equipment ahead of the fire – but it is enough to prevent the flame from crossing state lines.
Evacuation Warnings are still in effect for North and South Grove Creek, Gold Creek, Ruby Creek, and Robertson Draw east to Highway 72. The North and South Grove Creek Road, Gold Creek Road, Ruby Creek Road, Meeteetse Trail, and Robertson Draw Road that are in Evacuation Warning status remain closed to public use.
Despite its proximity to the flames, the Beartooth Highway remains open without any impediments.
While the Robertson Draw Fire is clearly visible from Clark, no parts of Wyoming have been directly threatened by its spread. Smoke from the fire will likely be visible and noticeable in northwest Wyoming for the duration of the fire.
Since the beginning of the firefighting effort, a Pilot Peak Wildland Fire Module from Cody has been on the scene. Now, the attempt to stop the flames means utilizing more resources from the area.
On Saturday, June 19, the Wyoming State Parks announced the partial closure of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir on their Facebook page:
As part of the firefighting effort to suppress the 25,000-acre Robertson Draw fire near Red Lodge, Mont., the western section of Buffalo Bill Reservoir has been closed to fishing and boat traffic to allow aircraft to land and scoop water.
The portion lying west of a straight line connecting the mouths of Rattlesnake Creek and Sheep Creek (commonly known as Spring Creek) up the drainage to Gibbs Bridge will be closed. Signage will be posted at all boat ramps, fee booths, and other public areas. These closures can quickly change due to wind direction.
Also, motorists are reminded to refrain from parking along or creating a curiosity slow on Hwy 14-16-20 so as not to make travel along the highway unsafe.
There’s no word on when these sections of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir will be reopened.
The size and speed of this fire is a sobering reminder for northwest Wyoming, and Park County officials want to make sure residents are ready for bad news if they need to hear it.
The Park County Sheriff’s Office is using the Robertson Draw Fire as an opportunity to remind residents to stay alert and aware. The best way agencies can communicate essential emergency information to Park County residents is thru CodeRed.
CodeRed is a reverse 9-1-1 system allowing residents to be quickly notified of emergencies in their vicinity. These notifications include, but are not limited to, natural disasters such as fire, flooding, weather, road, closures, etc. These include advisories on what to do in such emergencies, including shelter in place, evacuations, etc.
Thru CodeRED, county officials can deliver pre-recorded emergency telephone notification/information messages to targeted areas or the entire county at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour.
To enroll in CodeRed, visit https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/5386BECCC188.