Jim Creek Fire Update: 1188 acres
Long-term plan announced
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
July 21, 2006
Upper Green River Valley Community Meeting at The Place Sunday, July 23 Residents of the Upper Green River Valley are invited to a community meeting at "The Place" restaurant at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 23. Forest Service officials will explain the new plan for managing the Jim Creek fire, have maps and handouts, and answer questions. The fire was at 1,188 acres as of Wednesday.
A long-term plan for managing the Jim Creek fire in and around the Bridger Wilderness has been accepted by the Forest Service.
Developed by a team of fire-management specialists, the plan gives long-range weather forecasts and predictions on how the fire will burn. The plan also lists contingencies and actions the Forest Service can take to slow the fire.
“The plan gives us a rational, scientific way to manage this fire,” Craig Trulock, the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s district ranger in Pinedale said.
Highlights of the plan include weather data that show that while the predominant winds are from the west, northwest, and southwest in the summer, there is a small chance of easterly winds. The chance of easterly winds increases into the fall, according to the plan.
“This makes it clear where we need to focus our actions,” Trulock said. “We want to keep the fire away from private land in the Upper Green River Valley, and we started taking such action,” he said.
A helicopter dropped water on the northwest corner of the fire on Friday, while officials ordered a 20-person fire crew that will help set up sprinklers, possibly dig fire line, and cool hot spots on the ridge above Jim Creek.
A small fire camp will be set up at the Kendall guard station, Trulock said.
The plan also forecasts where smoke from the fire may go. North-northwest winds historically occur 44 percent of the time and will push smoke toward Pinedale.
One-quarter of the time the winds blow from the northwest and would push smoke toward Lander. The plan says that the fire won’t produce enough smoke to violate Wyoming air quality standards. “Of course we’ve already had irritating smoke near the fire. Air quality standards are averages over fairly large areas,” Trulock said.
Fire behavior specialists provided forecasts in the plan for how the fire would burn over the next 11 weeks, through mid October.
The fire promises to be active during the summer and then could be slowed by the change of seasons in early September but then the fire could get more active when “Indian summer” warming and drying happens.
Frost will dry out meadows that right now won’t burn, so fire managers will need to adjust their tactics, according to the plan.
“Because this fire is ‘fuel driven,’ rather than wind-driven, we’re looking for it to back into the wind, which the primary reason to take action now on the west side of the fire,” Trulock said.
For more information about the fire, visit www.inciweb.org or call (307) 367-5713.