Granite Creek area evacuations lifted; Cliff Creek Fire 84 perce - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Granite Creek area evacuations lifted; Cliff Creek Fire 84 percent contained

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Teton County, Wyo. -

UPDATE: (Friday Evening)

The mandatory evacuation order for the Granite Creek area was lifted Friday.

Teton County Public Information Specialist Cindy Harger said Granite Creek homeowners can choose to remain in their homes overnight. Other members of the public will be restricted to day use and are only permitted in areas west of Granite Creek Road.

"We are glad that folks can get back to their homes," Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator Rich Ochs said. "We also remind people that this incident is far from resolved. This is still an active fire, and people still need to be careful."  

InciWeb reports the Cliff Creek Fire is about 31,662 acres, but is 84-percent contained. Nearly 300 personnel are fighting the flames.

Smoke remains in the area so Teton County Public Health recommends people avoid physical activity in the Granite Creek area.


UPDATE: (Thursday Afternoon)

The wildfire burning near Bondurant continues to grow, but firefighters are slowing containing the flames.

InciWeb showed the fire is 31,169 acres and 84 percent contained. 336 personnel are on the scene of the fire.


UPDATE: (Monday Evening)

Firefighters continue to make progress on the large wildfire burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Bondurant.

InciWeb reports the Cliff Creek Fire is now 29,018 acres. The fire is 81 percent contained.

686 personnel are on scene fighting the fire.


?UPDATE: (Friday Evening)

Firefighters make progress against the Cliff Creek Fire. The U.S. Forest Service said the fire is now 20 percent contained. The fire is burning 26,818 acres.

707 personnel are fighting the flames.

New analysis of the fire shows there is a 50 percent chance the fire will be 100 percent contained by the end of September.


UPDATE: (Thursday Evening)

The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday firefighters battling the Cliff Creek Fire are now reporting 15 percent containment. According to an overnight infrared flight over the fire, the fire is now 23,995 acres.

The forest service said 721 personnel are fighting the flames. The Great Basin Incident Command Team #7 is managing the fire.


UPDATE: (Wednesday Evening)

InciWeb reports the Cliff Creek Fire is now burning about 21,483 acres. 10 percent of the lightning-caused fire is contained.

Nearly 700 people are fighting the flames which are heading toward the wilderness, away from homes. Incident Commander Tony DeMasters said the fire will be allowed to play its natural ecological role in the wilderness.


UPDATE: (Tuesday Evening)

The Incident Information System reports the Cliff Creek Fire is now 16,863 acres in size. 10 percent of the fire is contained.

More than 600 personnel are fighting the flames. Ground crews and aerial resources are working to suppress the fire, which is moving toward and into the Gros Ventre Wilderness.


UPDATE: (Monday Afternoon)

Firefighters continue to battle the Cliff Creek Fire as it moves towards and into the wilderness.

The U.S. Forest Service reports the fire has grown to about 14,629 acres with 10 percent containment. About 663 personnel and 17 crews are fighting the flames, along with 8 helicopters and 26 engines.

The forest service reports the fire is moving toward and into the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the wilderness study area.

The firefighters on the Cliff Creek Fire are planning to continue burnouts. It may take firefighters several days to complete the burnout operation. During that time, crews said the public can expect to see an increase in smoke coming from the area of the fire.


UPDATE: (Saturday evening)

The Cliff Creek Fire continues to grow as firefighters work to move the flames toward the wilderness and away from homes.

The U.S. Forest Service reports the fire is burning at 12,206 acres. More than 600 personnel are fighting the flames. Crews managed to contain 10 percent of the fire Friday. No new containment was made Saturday.

For the safety of firefighters and highway travelers, the forest service said passing is not allowed in passing zones within the fire area. Stopping along the roadway or parking in pullouts are also not allowed at this time.


UPDATE: (Friday Evening)

A Wyoming wildfire continues to grow in size, but fire crews are beginning to gain control and move the flames away from homes.

"Between the topography and the weather and just burning conditions, it's not allowing our firefighters to get into very safe access to deploy and put in a constructive handline to stop the fire," Cliff Creek Fire ICP Tony DeMasters said.

In almost a week since the Cliff Creek Fire was sparked by lightning, the U.S. Forest Service estimates the wildfire has now grown to about 11,534 acres. Put into perspective, if the fire was burning in a line, it would stretch nearly 600 miles - that would stretch across most of Montana.

"We've got several types of aviation assets. We've got scoopers. The scoopers are dipping water, pulling water out of various lakes with aircraft and we got upwards of 5 or 6 various types of helicopters that are also working with bucket drops and working with these hand crews," DeMasters said.

DeMasters is working with more than 600 personnel from 21 crews around the country to steer flames away from nearby homes and vegetation with handlines, retardant and air support. DeMasters said the goal is to push the wildfire towards the wilderness where it can play its natural role on the ecosystem.

Despite high winds and warmth working against crews, 10 percent of this wildfire is now contained. DeMasters said he expects full containment by the end of July.

"We've got folks from the southern regions of Arizona, Colorado. We've got folks from California and Idaho. So it's several states across the nation that's lending a hand to our efforts," DeMasters said.

Teton County Public Information Specialist Cindy Harger said U.S. Highway 189/191 from Hoback Junction to Daniel Junction, which has been closed most of the week due to the fire, reopened to the public Friday around noon.


UPDATE: (Thursday Evening)

Some evacuations are lifted for those in the area of the Cliff Creek Fire in Wyoming.

A media release states the evacuation was lifted Thursday morning for those in Bondurant in Sublette County.

The evacuation of residents in the Granite Creek area remains in effect. However, residents were escorted to their homes Thursday morning to collect some items.

The incident command public information officer says the fire is estimated to be over 10,000 acres in size and is only five percent contained.

The Cliff Creek Fire started Sunday and was started by lightning.


UPDATE: (Wednesday Evening)

The large wildfire in Wyoming continues to grow. Even more personnel were on scene Wednesday to fight the fire that's threatening homes in the area.

Warmth and wind are two major concerns for the more than 500 personnel and 21 crews battling the Cliff Creek Fire. The U.S. Forest Service said the latest estimate is at least 7,671 acres burned while containment was still at 0 percent Wednesday morning. 

Incident Commander Tony DeMasters said crews are on the defense, using retardant and handlines to steer the fire away from vegetation and homes.

"So by constructing a handline, they are removing burnable vegetation, 2-3 feet down to mineral soil to that removes the burnable vegetation from the fire's edge so in essence that stops the fire's movement," DeMasters said. "Along with working with those hand crews and stuff, we've got several types of aviation assets. We've got some scoopers. The scoopers are pulling water out of various lakes with aircraft, and we've got upwards of five or six of various types of helicopters that are also assisting with bucket drops and working with these hand crews."

Demasters said he expects the fire to be 5 to 10 percent contained by Thursday.

Highway 191 is still closed from Hoback Junction to Daniel Junction, about a 45 mile stretch that is detouring traffic hundreds of miles to keep everyone safe.
 
DeMasters said crews will meet again at 6 a.m. Thursday to assess the latest and continue coordinating plans to drive the wildfire towards the wilderness.


UPDATE: (Tuesday Evening)

As the Cliff Creek Fire continues to spread, it threatens thousands of acres and homes in the Teton County, Wyoming area.

Two evacuation centers have already been set up on either side of the fire. One of them is in Jackson, Wyoming at John Colter Elementary School. U.S. Forest Service PIO Nan Stinson said thankfully everyone who came through the Jackson evacuation center Tuesday found a home for the night thanks to local families willing to put up people who are displaced by the wildfire.

"I think Wyoming is a good place just because of all the floods that have happened like in Yellowstone and everything," Jackson resident Alex Anne Matthues said. "People are aware of the benefits of wildfires as well as things that have to happen in order to help people out when that happens."

Teton County Emergency Management said it's estimated that at least 6,700 acres have burned so far. The Granite Creek and Bondurant area have already received evacuation orders. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Cliff Creek Fire was sparked by lightning Sunday afternoon just after 2:30.

The Red Cross has already set up those two evacuation centers to the north and south of the fire. The second evacuation center is at Pinedale High School Wrangler Gym in Pinedale, Wyoming.

A lot of drivers are also being redirected. Highway 191 is still shut down from Daniel Junction to Hoback Junction. It's unclear when these routes will reopen.

As the fire approaches the town of Bondurant, a community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Bondurant School to prepare for the approaching flames.

Many local departments are on hand battling the blaze. Teton County Emergency Management says this wildfire is now classified as a Type 2 Incident Disaster which means it's under charge of a regional response team.


UPDATE: (Tuesday Morning)

Highway 189/191 from Daniel Junction to Hoback Junction remains closed Tuesday. The Wyoming Department of Transportation announced it hoped to reopen the road Tuesday morning. According to their website the estimate opening time is after 4:00 p.m.


UPDATE: (Monday Evening)

A wildfire continues to spread, forcing residents and visitors in Teton County, Wyoming to evacuate.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Cliff Creek Fire spread to the north and east Monday. It's now burning at about 4,500 acres.

The U.S. Forest Service said, at about 3 p.m. Monday, Teton County Emergency Management issued a mandatory evacuation order for the Granite Creek area. The evacuation was announced when the fire crossed Shoal Creek and spotted onto the ridge above Granite Creek.

Lightning sparked the wildfire, which was discovered on the Bridger-Teton National Forest around 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Strong, gusty winds helped spread the fire, which is fueled by trees and heavy timber.

Evacuations were ordered for Sublette County Sunday and remain in effect. Highway 189/191 remains closed at this time.

Interagency firefighters are working to suppress the fire. According to the Incident System Website, InciWeb, 138 personnel are on the scene. Tuesday morning, a Type 2 Incident Management Team is scheduled to begin managing the fire.


Residents in Teton County, Wyoming were evacuated Monday due to a wildfire.

According to the Incident Information System website, around 3 p.m. the Teton County Sheriff's Office began mandatory evacuations of Granite Creek Road from Granite Creek Hot Springs to Highway 189/191. The highway remains closed at this time. The evacuation order includes Jack Pine Summer Homes, Granite Campground, Granite Hot Springs and the Safari Club.

According to Teton County Emergency Management, residents and visitors need to evacuate immediately. The Cliff Creek Fire is burning about 2,200 acres and is spotting on the ridge above Granite Creek. The incident management team said it believes there is an imminent threat to life and property in the area.

Evacuees can report to the Jackson Hole High School in Jackson to register with the Red Cross for assistance. Do not leave pets behind. If you cannot take livestock with you, make sure they can leave pastures on their own to get away from the fire.

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