Fire Update Wed Aug 1 at 9 Pm
Incident: East Sarpy Wildfire
Four fires grow in Sarpy Hills - others contained
Many of the lightning-lit range fires in the Sarpy Hills northeast of Crow Agency grew during the day Wednesday. Accurate size estimates are not yet available, but the largest East Sarpy fire is perhaps 20,000 acres. The only threatened structures, at Castle Rock Ranch seventeen miles east of Crow, were evacuated today as a precaution. Castle Rock Road is closed.
Smoke is pouring into the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Light northeast winds in the Little Bighorn valley will also bring smoke into Crow and Dunmore overnight. The Little Dry Creek fire about six miles east of Dunmore and the 2000 acre Dawes fire to its east are both back on the far side of the Artesian fire that burned above Dunmore three weeks ago. The West Tullock Creek fire is more than eleven miles west of Busby.
Firefighters limited the Castle Rock II fire to 960 acres today and secured the perimeter, and are mopping up. The 5000 acre South Tullock Creek fire is in mop-up with dozer line around it. We also contained the Cottonwood fire west of Eagle Springs Road.
Firefighters' first responsibility remains the safety and health of all the community's people. Six heavy air tankers should be flying from Billings Thursday to support firefighters on the ground. About twenty additional engines are expected on the fires Thursday also. An interagency incident management team, Incident Commander Bob Fry, will take over management of firefighting efforts in the Sarpy Hills during the day Thursday. First they plan to work with local firefighters through the day.
The National Weather Service forecast is for "critical fire weather" Thursday afternoon through the night into Friday. A "dry cold front" will bring very strong gusty winds from the northwest. Fires may move faster than anyone could react to effectively. Temperatures should be ten degrees cooler Friday than Thursday, but Friday may stay windy.