Horse Creek Fire Update - July 3, 2012 8pm
Incident: Horse Creek Wildfire
Incident CommanderFIRE UPDATE
Horse Creek Fire
Contact: Horse Creek Fire Information Phone: 1-406-493-5934
Update: July 3, 2012 8pm
FIRE NAME: Horse Creek Fire
DATE OF DETECTION: July 1, 2012
CURRENT SIZE: 7,568 acres
LOCATION: 30 miles south of Hysham, Montana
AGENCY: Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
IMT: Greg Poncin's Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
TODAY'S ACTIVITY: Fire lines were holding around the entire fire perimeter today despite very windy weather, low relative humidity and isolated thunderstorms later in the afternoon. Fire crews and equipment are camped out close to the fire in order to save driving time. Greg Poncin's incident management team assumed command of fire operations at 6pm this evening and will also manage the Coal Seam fire and that part of the Ash Creek fire west of the Tongue River. The Coal Seam fire is 100% contained, but fire managers are concerned that there may be other coal seams outside of the fire lines that may be burning that have not yet been detected. That portion of the Ash Creek fire assigned to the team is in mop-up status. Many of the firefighting resources that were assigned yesterday to the Dahl Creek fire near Roundup, Montana were brought with the IMT to the Horse Creek fire.
Late in the afternoon, a new fire start was reported 2 miles east of the Horse Creek fire. This fire was estimated at 50 acres and growing quickly with wind gusts to 40 miles per hour. Firefighters from the Horse Creek fire are responding this new fire.
TOMORROW'S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY:
Weather conditions will moderate slightly tomorrow, forecast as sunny with high temperatures from 85-90 degrees, relative humidity in the teens, and lighter winds out of the north from 5-10 mph in the morning switching to the east at 10-15 mph in the afternoon.
Fire crews will concentrate on mop-up on the three assigned fires and suppression of any new starts, including the new fire start 2 miles east of the Horse Creek fire.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: There are approximately 200 fire personnel assigned to the fire including four 20-person crews, 5 engines, 2 dozers, 2 water tenders and 3 skidgines. Not included in these numbers are some resources that arrived with the team that were later sent to a new fire start 6 miles north of Laurel, Montana earlier in the afternoon.
SPECIAL CONCERNS: Major utilities crossing the Horse Creek fire include a Northwestern Energy power line and the Williston Basin Natural Gas Pipeline. The Sarpy Coal Mine, located south of the Horse Creek fire and north of the Coal Seam fire is a protection priority, as well as cultural resources in the fire areas.
CLOSURES: There is a temporary flight restriction (TFR) for 6 miles around the Horse Creek Fire perimeter and 8500 feet above ground level in order to safeguard aerial fire operations.
SPECIAL MESSAGES: Travelers should be cautious of increased fire traffic on Montana State Highway 39, including through the community of Colstrip where the incident command post is located.