Viewer Photo: Fishhawk Fire

Matt Thomas took this picture of the Fishhawk Fire burning 40 miles west of Cody. 9/4/2019

CODY, Wyo. - A rainy day dampened the Fishhawk Fire near Yellowstone’s east entrance Friday. Shoshone National Forest managers and firefighters warn the 11,000-acre fire will probably be active for weeks.

The Fishhawk Fire that started in the Washakie Wilderness Monday, and blew up Wednesday, smoldered on the damp Friday in the Shoshone National Forest, about 12 miles from Yellowstone’s eastern border.

Hot shot crews worked through the week to establish hand lines around the evacuated Boy Scout camp and the Kitty Creek cabin group, while the blaze headed toward them through dense, heavy fuels.

There are almost seventy cabins in this area and nine guest lodges. 

A hotshot leader confirmed, "Based on weather, no new evacuations."

Firefighters continued work to protect structures form the fire, even as drizzle, and later rain kept it smoldering. They used hand tools to clear a line on the ground around structures.

"They cut down some of the standing dead that might be receptors for fires," Division Supervisor Chris Zoller said. "Anything that may be real close, or touching the cabins, they would trim some of that off."

The hotshots even cut off lower limbs on trees lining the road to the Boy Scout Camp to eliminate ladder fuels. They put down sprinklers and hose lines in and around the cabins in the evacuated areas..

"That hose lay is just to help cool that line," Zoller said.

They are working to protect the structures from a fire that is now only a mile and a half away. The fire could reignite and come closer to structures if dry winds push it.

The fire made a run Wednesday night in the Fishhawk drainage where it more than doubled in size.

Fire safety is top priority for Zoller’s crew. They’re working just down the road from the Blackwater Fire Memorial, which is a tribute to 15 firefighters who died while fighting a wildfire just down the road in 1937.

Wapiti District Ranger Susan Stresser says the firer may continue to smolder, and burn for as long as six weeks.

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