Horse Creek, Powerline, Taylor & Coal Seam Fire Update - July 4 @ 8 A.m
Incident: Horse Creek Wildfire
Contact: Horse Creek Fire Information Phone: 1-406-493-5934
Update: July 4, 2012 8am
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
LAST NIGHT'S ACTIVITY: Firefighters from the Horse Creek fire and county resources responded to a new start east of the Horse Creek fire. They were able to stop the eastern advance of the wind-driven Powerline fire that was growing rapidly yesterday evening. The fire has been lined on the east side and has held north of the Horse Creek road. Fire personnel will fly over the fire to confirm the fire's location this morning.
Another new fire start yesterday afternoon, the Taylor Creek fire, located 10-12 miles southeast of Fort Howes, was estimated at 3000 acres last night with 50 firefighters. More information will be available later today.
TODAY'S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY:
The forecast is for sunny skies with high temperatures in the upper 80's to low 90's and relative humidity in the teens, with winds out of the north from 5-10 mph in the morning switching to the east at 10-15 mph in the afternoon.
Fire lines are in place around the entire Horse Creek fire, and crews will concentrate on improving and strengthening the lines and mop-up hot spots. Fire activity is limited to isolated tree torching, creeping and smoldering. Fire crews and equipment remain camped out close to the fire, in order to save driving time.
The Powerline fire was estimated at 50 acres last night. Firefighters have constructed fire line around the perimeter and will work to strengthen improve those lines today.
The Coal Seam fire is 100% contained and will be patrolled from the air. Final size of the fire is 527 acres.
That portion of the Ash Creek fire west of the Tongue River (70,565 acres) is in mop-up and patrol status.
Fire crews will be available for initial attack of any new fire starts.
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. Some additional resources that initially arrived with the team that were sent to the Dry Creek fire near Laurel, Montana yesterday will return this morning and will provide additional fire support.
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 driving through the community of Colstrip where the incident command post is located.