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August 11, 2008 1:40 pm

Gunbarrel Fire update, August 8, 2008

Written by Tribune Staff

Sent at 9 a.m. by Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team A Public Information Officer,
Laura McConnell.

Cooler temperatures and higher humidities kept fire activity to a minimum on Thursday 8/7/08. The majority of activity occurred at the head of Sweetwater Creek approximately nine miles north of highway 14-16-20.
Owners, employees and visitors to the Elephant Head Lodge, Goff Creek Lodge, and Crossed Sabres Ranch returned after evacuations were lifted with the knowledge that hasty retreat may be necessary if conditions change. Residents of the Moss Creek area were allowed to return to their cabins as well. Structure protection measures were started at the Shoshone Lodge on the west flank and improved at the Standing Star Ranch on the east flank of the fire
A predicted shift in winds today may advance the fire on the west flank towards the highway. The majority of resources will monitor the fire growth closely in these areas in order to meet management objectives of property conservation and ecosystem benefit. Incident Commander Don Angell said, “Our effort is to maximize the benefits for the communities while taking firefighter and public safety into account.” Engines will continue to patrol to ensure that nothing ignites on the south side of the highway and at least one crew will staff the east side of the fire.
In the corridor, Qwest will be repairing the damaged phone lines to restore service to areas west of the fire. Traffic continues to flow well along highway 14-16-20 allowing visitors and residents access to Cody and the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. To ensure safe passage pilot car operations may be implemented that could cause minor delays. Seven of the eight campgrounds in the fire area are open for camping with Threemile Campground being the exception. Fishhawk trailhead remains closed.

Gunbarrel Fire Statistics at a Glance:
  • Time/Date Started: July 26, 2008
  • Location: 40 miles west of Cody, WY north of Hwy 14-16-20.
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Estimated Cost: $2,900,000
  • Fuels: Heavy dead and down timber with 50-80% beetle killed trees in spruce/fir.
  • Size: 35,500 acres.

Resources Committed:
5 twenty-person hot shot crews, 2 type two crews, 2 heavy helicopters, 1 medium helicopters, 2 light helicopters, 16 engines, and approximately 361 personnel.