Fire Update: Cliff Behaving, Lava Lurking

By on July 25, 2016

Jackson Hole, Wyo – The Cliff Creek Fire continues to advance slowly to the northeast into the Gros Ventre Wilderness where Bridger-Teton officials are content to let it burn to clear out old beetle-killed stands. Over the past 24 hours, the biggest growth was up into the Dell Creek drainage less than a mile from West Dell Falls.

Cliff Creek perimeter July 25

Cliff Creek perimeter July 25

At it’s current path, the wildfire should continue to move toward Palmer, Doubletop, and Hodges peaks—all higher than 11,000 feet—where it will likely slow considerably.

The Cliff Creek Fire is still 10 percent contained. An infrared flyover was completed last night to obtain a more accurate count of burned area. The area burned by the Cliff Creek Fire has been reduced to 14,629 total acres. It’s being fought by 663 personnel with the aid of 17 crews, 4 Type I heavy helicopters, 1 Type II medium helicopter, 3 Type III light helicopters, 26 engines and 1 dozer.

IC Tony DeMasters still thinks he can pull his team out by the end of the month. A strong perimeter has been established back at the fire’s origin in Cliff Creek and at the SE ridge protecting Granite Creek. More burnouts are scheduled for today.

Lava

Meanwhile, the Lava Mountain Fire has been garnering increased attention as it approaches Togwotee Pass and Highway 26. The highway remains open but the fire is close. Several ranches have been evacuated and more are standing ready to bug out.

Long Creek subdivision, Sheridan Creek Cow Camp, MacKenzie Highland Ranch, Timberline Ranch, and Teton Valley Ranch Camp have all been evacuated. Falls Creek Campground, Roaring River Subdivision, Buckboard Subdivision, Lava Mountain Lodge, Double Bar J Ranch, Lava Creek Ranch, Big Diamond Ranch, Triangle C Ranch, Hat Butte Area, Sawmill Turnoff, Warm Springs Subdivision, Porcupine subdivision, and the Union Pass Area all stand ready to bolt if the order is given.

Firefighters are holding the line at Forest Road 540 where backburns are scheduled for today. The fire was lightning caused, first discovered on July 11.

Incident Commander Rick Connell is directing the efforts of the Western Montana Type II Interagency Incident Management Team that includes 492 personnel, 13 crews, 7 helicopters, 2 water tenders, 29 engines, 1 dozer, and 1 skidgen. The fire is estimated at 5,488 acres with zero containment.

Lava Mountain map

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