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Rain and firefighters slow down Burroughs Fire

Rain and firefighters slow down Burroughs Fire

Sep 3, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A sprinkling of rain over the weekend helped firefighters gain more control of the Burroughs Fire near Dubois, which, as of Tuesday morning, maintained the 1,794 acre size it reached on Sunday.

Officials said the blaze is 7 percent contained, and no injuries or property damage have been reported.

The fire is burning about 12 miles north of Dubois on a ridge above Burroughs Creek in Upper Horse Creek Basin.

It reportedly was started by a lightning strike Thursday evening, Aug. 29, and was discovered the next day by a U.S. Forest Service employee on Union Pass. The fire size at 8 p.m. Aug. 30 was reported as 100 acres.


USFS fire information officer Carl Jungck said the initial response to the Burroughs Fire was "pretty intense," with his agency and local firefighters requesting backup from smoke jumpers, helicopters and slurry bombers from throughout the region.

The fire was "running, torching, crowning and spotting" up to half of a mile in front of the main portion of the blaze.

Jungck said the fire is burning in a thick stand of dead and down trees and "dense beetle-kill" along the Horse Creek drainage north of Dubois. Flames did come within hundreds of yards of ranch structures in the area, but he said firefighters kept the property from damage.

By 1:30 p.m. Aug. 31, the T-Cross and Moose Willow Ranches were under mandatory evacuation, as was the Horse Creek Campground. Double Cabin Campground was under voluntary evacuation, then later mandatory evacuation, but that order was lifted as of Tuesday.

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

Slowing down

Jungck said about four-tenths of an inch of rain over the weekend "did slow down the progress" of the fire. One regional hot shot crew remains in the area, but several other responders from out-of-state have been sent home.

About 175 people are fighting the fire on Tuesday.

There still is an area of closure between Forest Road 511 on the west, the Washakie Wilderness boundary to the north, Forest Road 285 to the east and Forest Road 285 to the south. However, on Tuesday the Wind River Ranger District of the Shoshone National Forest began allowing through traffic to travel in the vicinity of the Burroughs Fire. Forest Road 258 (Double Cabin Road) and Forest Road 511 (Brent Creek Road) are open to traffic, though restrictions are being enforced. Both roads will be closed to all traffic 6-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. daily to allow for safe passage of fire traffic and personnel.

"That's when (the firefighters) go out and come back in," Jungck said. "We don't want the public on the roads when they're doing that."

No stopping or camping will be allowed in the Burroughs Fire closure area.

Hunting concerns

Jungck said fire conditions can change quickly, so possible evacuations and closure could occur with short notice, and travelers may have to remain in place if the roads are impacted by fire.

"Right now there's a lot of (hunting) seasons opened up ... a lot of people are out," Jungck said. "We're not recommending people don't go through, but if they do, know at any certain time if the fire would increase in activity we might have to bring them out again like on the day when the fire started."

He said the Burroughs Fire is not related to the Hardluck Fire, which is burning in a separate drainage and is unlikely to come in contact with the Fremont County blaze.

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