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New blaze flares in forest near Dubois; firefighters rushed in

Sep 3, 2013 - From staff reports

Several closure and evacuation orders are in effect.

Firefighters have moved quickly in trying to suppress a new wildfire in Fremont County near Dubois, and several familiar ranches, campgrounds and recreational areas are under evacuation or closure orders.

Named the Burrough fire, the blaze in Shoshone National Forest was discovered Friday by a U.S. Forest Service worker.

Its size at the time of discovery was estimated at about 10 acres.

It had grown to at least 100 acres by Saturday morning. It is burning in the Burroughs Creek region about 12 miles north of Dubois.

The site is not far from the Hardluck Fire, but that fire is on the other side of the mountains in Park County.

The Hardluck is the biggest fire in Wyoming so far this season at more than 24,000 acres, but activity at the site has stalled. It has been allowed to burn.

No significant growth has been reported at the Hardluck for several days.

The situation is different with the Burrough Fire, which is burning in a heavily wooded area of mostly beetle-killed timber.

The official incident report Saturday described the site as the "thick stand of standing dead and down trees."

More than 100 wildland firefighters were deployed to the scene immediately to provide protection for structures in the vicinity as fire suppression efforts began.

A column of white smoke was visible from long distances, and smoke from the fire had drifted into lower elevations of the Riverton and Lander valleys Saturday morning.

Lightning is believed to be the cause of the fire, although it is in an area frequented by recreational users.

"Multiple resources are engaged in suppressing the wildfire," said U.S. Forest Service silviculturist Ellen Jungck.

She said a Type III management team is in place, with the incident command post set up at the Dubois Volunteer Fire Department.

"Incident objectives are firefighter and public safety, reduce the threat and minimize damage to private property and structures located within and adjacent to the national forest boundary, and to minimize loss or damage to national forest facilities and developments," Jungck said in her official statement.

On the scene are two Type II crews, one Type I crew, five engines, and two type III helicopters. A heavy helicopter, air tankers, one Type II and one Type I crew were ordered Saturday.

Weather in the area was unseasonably warm on Saturday, with no significant change in the weather expected through Wednesday.

The following closure or evacuation orders were in place as of Saturday night:

- T-Cross and Moose Willow Ranches are under mandatory evacuation.

- Horse Creek Campground is under mandatory evacuation.

- Double Cabin Campground is under voluntary evacuation.

- The Old Livingston Place is under pre-evacuation notice; residents are encouraged to be prepared and ready to leave.

- U.S. Forest Service Roads 510 (Burroughs Creek Loop), 285 (Horse Creek Road) and 511 (Brent Creek Road) are closed.

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