CASPER, Wyo. — The Crater Ridge Fire, which was discovered in the Bighorn National Forest on Saturday, experienced active fire behavior including group tree torching on Monday, according to a Tuesday update from fire managers.
“Most fire activity occurred in the Cub Creek drainage, where type 1 helicopters dropped water over areas of intense heat to keep the fire north of Cub Creek,” according to the Bighorn National Forest update posted to InciWeb.
While the fire was still 0% contained as of Tuesday morning, hotshot crews have “initiated indirect containment line along Boyd Ridge south of the fire, working to connect existing patch cuts in that area to be used as a fuel break.” That work was expected to continue on Tuesday. Crews in the north were expected to evaluate locations along the 111 road and Pumpkin Creek to add indirect containment line.
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The fire was estimated at 383 acres as of Tuesday morning. 119 personnel are assigned to the fire. A full suppression strategy is being employed. The Type 2 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team assumed command of the fire at 6 a.m. Monday.
Weather conditions were expected to produce ‘slightly less active fire behavior” on Tuesday due to “somewhat higher humidity.” Humidity was expected to be around 30%.
However, thunderstorms are also possible on both Tuesday and Wednesday and could produce gusty winds, according to the update.
An area closure is in effect in the Bighorn National Forest due to the fire:
“There are numerous campers/trailers within and around the fire closure area that could be at risk of fire damage and should be removed while conditions allow,” the update adds. “The closure order allows entry for camper/trailer removal under safe conditions. Please see Forest Service area closure order for guidance: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd932369.pdf.”
“A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect for the fire area and has been enlarged to include Stagecoach Reservoir,” a Monday morning update from fire managers states. “Drones are hazards for our pilots and ground crews. Remember: If You Fly, We Can’t! For details on the TFR, see https://tfr.faa.gov/.”
The update adds that donations from the public are not needed.
“Our firefighters are well supplied with everything they need, so community donations are not necessary,” the Bighorn National Forest’s update states. “Please consider donating to your local fire department or the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.”
Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect in Sheridan County: “For fire restriction information in counties throughout Wyoming, see https://wsfd.wyo.gov/fire-management/fire-restrictions.”
Stage 1 fire restrictions are also in effect on the Bighorn National Forest: “For current fire restrictions see https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/bighorn/alerts-notices; for closures see https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd932369.pdf.”