Miner Paradise Complex Morning Fire Update 8-24

Start date:  August 16, 2013 (N. Eightmile)

Contact:  Mariah Leuschen, Jack Conner, Heather Noel        

Direct Information Land Lines:  (406) 333-9961, (406) 333-9971

Email:  minerparadisecomplex@gmail.com


A public meeting is scheduled today at the Paradise Valley Fire Hall at 7pm and will include updates on the Emigrant Fire, Sheep Fire, North Eightmile and Horsetail fires in the Miner Paradise Complex.


Stage 1 Restrictions start today, Saturday, August 24, for the Gallatin National Forest including the Absaroka –Beartooth Wilderness and the Beartooth Ranger District, Custer National Forest (excluding the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness)


Park County 911 encourages residents to sign up for Emergency notifications with your cell at: www.livingstonmontana.org and www.parkcounty.org


As of August 22, Park County has implemented a burn ban for all outdoor burning.          

Location:  Sheep Fire in Tom Miner Basin, North Eightmile and Horsetail Fires along Gallatin Crest, Emigrant Fire – 8 miles south of Emigrant


Combined Current Size:  Approximately 11,334 acres, 4 fires       Containment: 5%

Sheep Fire: Approximately 570 acres, North Eightmile Fire: Approximately 414 acres,

Horsetail Fire:  Approximately 143 acres, Emigrant Fire: Approximately 10,207 acres. 

Resources Assigned: 2 Hotshot crews, 5 twenty person crews, 4 helicopters, 29 engines, 4 dozers.

Total personnel:  430



Firefighters made good progress yesterday despite the thunderstorms and gusty and erratic outflow winds that developed in the vicinity of the fires.


A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for Sunday, August 25th for breezy afternoon winds and low relative humidities.


FIRE NAME:  Emigrant Fire


DATE OF DETECTION:  July 21, 2013

CAUSE:  Lightning

CURRENT SIZE:  approximately 10,208 acres


LOCATION:  South of Emigrant Peak, between Gold Prize Creek and North Fork Sixmile Creek

AGENCY:  Gallatin National Forest

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 2 Type II  crews, 2 Type 2 IA crews, 15 engines, 1 dozer


FRIDAY’S ACTIVITY: Yesterday, crews constructed direct fire line on the north, northwest and west perimeters of the fire. Additional hotshot crews arrived and made good progress on the western flank of the fire. Firefighter initiated a  small burn out operation supported by helicopter bucket drops to secure the western flank yesterday. Retardant and helicopter bucket drops were used on the western flank of the fire as firefighters worked to keep the fire in check by constructing direct and indirect handline. On the northern perimeter, crews worked to construct direct handline to tie into the western portion of the fire.


The fire mostly grew to the east and northeast yesterday. Around mid-afternoon, the fire started backing down a slope into a pocket of heavy fuels and made a visible column on the Emigrant Fire, making an uphill run in the south of the North Fork of Sixmile Creek drainage. 


Structure assessments and possible contingency lines were identified in areas northeast of the fire.

Crews continued structure assessment plans in the Cedar Creek surrounding the historic OTO ranch along with areas north/northeast of the fire in Mill Creek vicinity.


SATURDAY’S  PLANNED ACTIVITY: Crews will work to construct direct hand line on the western edge of the fire. Mop up work will begin on the northwest portion of the fire. Contingency plans for areas northeast of the fire will continue to be identified. On the southern flank of the fire, crews will maintain structure protection at the historic OTO ranch. Firefighters will continue to assess future opportunities for control lines in Emigrant Creek and assess the structure protection plan for the OTO ranch.  Community Protection Assessments will be analyzed for Cedar Creek and Slip and Slide areas working with the Park County Sherriff’s Department. Suppression efforts will continue to be supported by retardant and helicopter bucket drops.

CLOSURES & OTHER INFORMATION:  The Emigrant Fire Closure includes National Forest System lands along the western boundary, north to Natioanl Forest System Lands around Chico in section 13, running east to the West Fork of the Mill Creek Road including Chico Peak. Trail # 78 Wicked Trail is closed.  This closure extends south to Fish, Knox, and Thompson Lakes. Monitor Peak and trails leading to are also closed continuing west and including all National Forest System Lands directly adjacent to Dome Mountain WMA. The Monitor Peak Trail #61, Trail #62 to Knox and Fish Lakes along with Trail #33 bumping into Trail #60 to Monitor Peak from the South.  A full map is available on inciweb under maps. Additional Trail closures include  the North Fork of Bear Creek #60, Knox Lake #64 and #279 Monitor Peak Connector Trail on the Gardiner and Yellowstone R.D.’s 


The Forest Service portion of Sixmile Creek Road from its junction with the Dailey Lake Road will be closed until further notice. The Sixmile Creek Trail (#61) and North Fork of Sixmile Creek Trail (#606) will be closed to their junction with Trail #601 north of Monitor Peak.


People traveling near the Emigrant Fire Helibase are urged to be cautious of fire personnel and the helicopter operating near Conlin Road.


FIRE NAME:  Sheep Fire


DATE OF DETECTION:  August 12, 2013

CAUSE:  Lightning

CURRENT SIZE:  approximately 570 acres


LOCATION:  Sawtooth Mountain in Tom Miner Basin, approximately 25 miles northwest of Gardiner

AGENCY:  Gallatin National Forest

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 1 Type 2 crew, 6 engines, 1 dozer


FRIDAY’S  ACTIVITY: Crews constructed direct handline on the northwest side of the fire. A helicopter was used to assist firefighters on the northwest and southwest sides of the fire with water bucket drops. Crews worked to mop up the northeast to east side of the fire and put out a spot fire on the southeastern perimeter.


SATURDAY’S  PLANNED ACTIVITY: Firefighters will construct direct line on northwest flank of the fire. Firefighters will mop up the east flank of the fire. Suppression efforts will continue to be supported by retardant and helicopter bucket drops.


CLOSURES & OTHER INFORMATION:  A closure order has been issued on the Divide Creek Road (3250) in the Tom Miner basin. A Closure Order is in place for the Tom Miner Basin on National Forest System Lands affected by the Sheep Fire along the southern portion of the Tom Miner Basin which includes the Tom Miner Campground.  Map is available on Inciweb under maps.


FIRE NAME:  North Eightmile Fire


DATE OF DETECTION:  August 16, 2013

CAUSE:  Lightning

CURRENT SIZE:  approximately 413 acres           

CONTAINMENT:  8%                                           

LOCATION:  North Fork Eightmile Creek, approximately 20 miles southwest of Livingston

AGENCY:  Gallatin National Forest


FRIDAY’S ACTIVITY:  Crews mopped up the ridgeline along the Gallatin Crest securing western perimeter to ensure it does not drop into Bozeman Creek drainage and the Bozeman Municpal water supply. North Eightmile saw light rain and hail yesterday.

Firefighters mopped up the northwest edge of the fire and also mopped up fire that had slopped over the ridge on the north flank.


SATURDAY’S  PLANNED ACTIVITY: Firefighters will continue securing the fires edge on the ridgeline along the Gallatin Crest. Firefighters will mop up deeper into the interior from the fires edge today.

 FIRE NAME:  Horsetail Fire


DATE OF DETECTION:  August 11, 2013       

CAUSE:  Lightning

CURRENT SIZE:  approximately 143 acres                   



LOCATION:  ½ mile north of Horsetail Falls, east of Flanders Mountain

AGENCY:  Gallatin National Forest



FRIDAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: Firefighters constructed indirect handline and created a fuel break using a chipper in the East Fork drainage of Hyalite. Crews also created indirect hand line and cleared brush in the Flanders Creek drainage to tie into natural barriers. A helicopter was also used to keep the fire near the Flanders Creek area in check.


SATURDAY’S  PLANNED ACTIVITY: Crews will continue work in both the East Fork and Flanders Creek drainages. Firefighters will assess the possibility of creating direct handline on the north flank of the fire.


CLOSURES: East Fork Hyalite East Fork of Hyalite is closed including Palisade Falls Trailhead and picnic area, Emerald Lake Trailhead and Flanders Creek drainage.  Gate is closed at East side of Hyalite Dam including Chisholm, and Hood Creek campgrounds and Palisades, Emerald Lake and Flanders Creek Trailheads are closed.  Windowrock and Maxey Cabin are closed.  Blackmore Day Use Area will remain open.  This closure is due to the Horsetail Fire. 

 FIRE WEATHER:  This morning, relative humidities were as low as 60%. Relative humidities above 20%, temperatures between 77-82, and winds 6-12 mph from the SW with gusts to 20mph are expected today with gusty and erratic winds surrounding thunder cells. Very little inversion is expected this morning. Cumulus clouds are expected by mid day and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon with a chance of wetting rain at 20%. 

Cooperating Agencies:  Custer and Gallatin National Forests, Park County DES and Sheriff’s Department, Gallatin Co DES and Sheriff’s Department, Paradise Valley Rural Fire, MT DNRC.          


For further information, go to: http://www.inciweb.org

Each of the fires are currently listed under the Miner Paradise Complex.


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