Arapaho Fire News Release for 07/08/2012
Incident: Arapaho Fire Wildfire
Contact: Public Information Office - 307-298-0556
Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 9:00am MST Fire Status Update
Size: 98,094 acres
News and Events for the Arapaho Fire
· Firefighters will take advantage of the weather and begin direct attack on difficult portions of the western and northern flanks.
· During yesterday's shift, crews constructed helispots to facilitate today's direct attack actions.
· Long-term analysis work will continue as the rugged terrain around Laramie Peak is too hazardous to fully suppress the fire.
With cooler weather from the past three days and continuing today, fire activity will remain moderate. In areas with light fuels, fire growth has minimized due to recent rainfall and high humidities. Areas with heavier fuels continue to hold isolated pockets of heat. This will cause the fire to become more active when weather patterns become warmer and drier. As the weather changes, there are unburned areas well within the perimeter and posing no threat that could produce visible amounts of smoke.
Crews will be working on a stretch of open line from Eagle Peak south to Cow Creek Mountain. At least four crews will be working in the area ensuring the fire edge is cool and incapable of spread. Because of the rough terrain, a designated helicopter with Medivac capacity will be stationed at the helispot built yesterday to improve response times in case of an injury.
Firefighters will also continue to work upslope from the bottom of the southeast slope of Laramie Peak until it becomes too steep to go any further. They will build line where possible and look for hotspots near the fire perimeter.
A crew will be inserted on the northern flank to line the fire's edge moving through ground previously burned by the 2002 Hensel Fire in the upper reaches of Saltlick Creek. This is a hazardous area due to rough terrain and weakened snags. A helispot was built yesterday near the area where firefighters will work to facilitate access and evacuation if it should be necessary.
On other sections of the fire, crews will continue to mop up inside the perimeter and secure line. Structure protection forces are still working around buildings and attacking any interior smokes that may pose a threat to structures. Identified resources will respond to any new starts in the fire area.
As these actions are completed over the next few days, the only open line will extend across the extremely steep and rocky western face of Laramie Peak, from the Friend Creek drainage north to just below the peak. The long term analysis will include management action points under different weather scenarios to inform future decisions about the fire. It is unlikely the Arapaho Fire will be fully contained in this section until a season ending weather event. Throughout the remainder of fire season, Laramie Peak will need to be constantly monitored.
· Harris Park Road closed at Cottonwood Park Road and Fish Creek Road
· Garrett Road closed at Palmer Canyon Road and Fetterman Road (County Rd 61)
· Esterbrook Road closed at Fetterman Road and Braae Road
Evacuations: Evacuations remain in place for Friend Park.
Closures: All Forest Service lands, recreation sites, roads and trails east of Esterbrook Road. Trails include Laramie Peak Trail (#602); North Laramie River Trail (#625); Friend Park Trail (#609); Harris Park Trail (#616); Roaring Fork Trail (#623); and Laramie Peak Trailhead, North Laramie Trailhead; recreation sites closed include Esterbrook Campground and Friend Park Campground.
Restrictions: For current fire restrictions, visit the Wyoming interagency fire restrictions website at http://www.wy.blm.gov/wy fire restrictions/
Donations: Thank you for supporting the firefighters with donations. Please do not deliver any donations to the fire camp on Fish Creek Road. To make donations, call 1-307-331-8660
Arapaho Fire: Started: June 27, 2012 Cause: Lightning Location: 28 miles NW of Wheatland, WY. Resources: A total of 860 personnel assigned to the fire, including 5 hotshot crews, 11 hand crews, 4 assigned helicopters, 2 fixed wing aircraft, 71 engines, 4 dozers and 17 water tenders.
SAFETY CONCERNS: Weakened snags, downdraft winds from thunderstorms, stumpholes, wet and dangerous road conditions, slippery footing, lightning.
RESOURCE CONCERNS: Invasive species such as dalmation toadflax, cheatgrass and zebra mussel transported on equipment from other locations.
WEATHER: Today, mostly cloudy with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms. Brief but heavy rains are possible. Temperatures will be ranging between 68 to 75 degrees. E to NE winds 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. Minimum relative humidity across the fire will range from 35-45%.
The outlook for tonight is partly cloudy skies with scattered early evening showers and isolated thunderstorms. Temperatures will be ranging between 55 to 60 degrees with relative humidity between 60 and 80%.
Outlook for Monday is partly cloudy with highs in the mid 70s with a minimum RH of 30 to 40%. Winds E to SE 5 to 15 mph. The chance for wetting rain will be 0%.
TODAY'S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Although precipitation and a wetter atmosphere have moderated fire conditions, there is still a potential for fire spread. Daytime drying will lead to potential fire spread in light flashy fuels, especially in breezy conditions. Heavy fuels will continue to burn but growth will remain minimal. In locations that received precipitation yesterday there will be low potential for fire growth. Initial attack response will likely continue from lightning received on Thursday night.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, the Wyoming State Forestry Division, Platte County, Albany County and Converse County; the Rawlins Field Office of the High Desert District of the Bureau of Land Management.