Little Horse Thief Canyon wildfire starts near Jackson
Human-caused fire has burned 1500 acres, 5 miles south of Jackson
September 10, 2012
The Little Horse Thief Canyon wildfire, that started around 3pm on Saturday, September 8, 2012 is 15% contained as of Sunday, 10:00p.m. This is a human-caused fire burning about 5 miles south of Jackson Hole. There are currently 115 personnel on this fire.
The fire has currently burned 1500 acres. Fire officials have identified their primary objectives to include the protection of structures and infrastructure, the protection of South Highway 89, and Snow King. There is a Red Flag Warning in effect today. The Haines Index is a 4. Winds from the south west with gusts to 30 mph are predicted today along with low humidity. As of 2:00pm we have yet to see any of those weather conditions materialize. We are prepared for such conditions and anticipate as the day wears on hotter, dryer weather and increased winds are still possible.
On Saturday evening, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS lost overland engine 18 out of Station 1, the Jackson fire station, to the fire. No fire personnel were injured in this accident.
Fire information is available at the Jackson High School or at http://www.tetonfires.com/ or http://inciweb.org/incident/3241/
CLOSURE AREA - HIGH RESOLUTION MAPS AVAILABLE AT http://www.flickr.com/photos/bridgerteton/7964935780/in/photostream
The Bridger-Teton National Forest has closed the Cache Creek Game Creek loop and all areas within that loop up to the Forest boundary due to the Little Horse Thief fire. Air operations and fire crews will be working within that area throughout the day. Closure signs will be posted at the top of Snow King. The entire Ferrins rail is closed. Josie's Ridge and trails leading to top of Snow King are closed. The Hagen Trail is closed. All trails in the Snow King area are closed. The Cache Creek trailhead is closed. With the winds, and fire weather predicted it is unsafe to have anyone back in the Cache Creek drainage. The Forest encourages visitors to recreate in other areas. With all of the air traffic, it is critical that no paragliders recreate within that area or try to launch at the Wilson Canyon ridge. The chairlift at Snow King will not operate today.
Residents of Deer Drive, Elk Drive and Horse Thief Lane are advised there will continue to be firefighter emergency vehicle and heavy machinery activity in the area of the subdivision.
There is an interagency effort in place for combating this fire with 4 engines, 2 tenders and 3 helicopters. The fire is moving south towards Game Creek Drainage. There is no immediate threat to Game Creek. There is no immediate threat to Snow King. There are no structures threatened. This Interagency effort includes apparatus from Bridger-Teton National Forest, Jackson Hole Fire EMS, and Grand Teton National Park. Multiple handcrews have been ordered. A Type 2 Team has been requested for Sunday evening. All the animals have been removed from the Animal Shelter.
Highway 89 remains open.
There are no roads affected by this fire.
The Town of Jackson remains open for business.
The Teton County Sheriff's Office will do door-to-door evacuation notifications should an evacuation be ordered. Information on evacuations will be shared through Inciweb, and news outlets should it become necessary.
The residents in the Cache Creek and Game Creek drainages are encouraged to begin preplanning for potential evacuation on Sunday. While there isn't an evacuation in effect for either Cache Creek or Game Creek residents are asked to begin assembling nonreplaceable items. Things to do during a wildfire to ready your family for a potential evacuation include:
1) make arrangements for any animals and livestock
2) back your car into the driveway for a quick exit should it become necessary
3) load your vehicle with photographs, irreplaceable paper work, lap top computers
4) assemble any pets into one room or a confined area so you can gather them and remove them quickly if necessary
Additional preparatory information can be found at www.firewise.org. Cache Creek and Game Creek residents should continue to monitor www.inciweb.org/incident/3241 for updates.
Traffic on Highway 89 is encouraged to keep moving. Motorists may be distracted by the activity in the air and in proximity of the fire. Those driving along the highway should be very aware of their surroundings and watch out for distracted drivers.
Incident Type Wildfire
Date of Origin Saturday September 08th, 2012 approx. 03:00 PM
Location 5 miles S Jackson Little Horse Thief Canyon
Incident Commander Watsabaugh / Vero
Current Situation (9/10/12)
Total Personnel 112
Size 1,500 acres
Percent Contained 15%
Fuels Involved Sage, grass, open timber
Fire Behavior Running, crowning and long-range spotting
Significant Events Closure put into place. Continue to secure anchor and good progress on western flank. Fire made significant run to the NE.
Planned Actions Continue flanking fire prioritizing west and north flanks.
Growth Potential High
Terrain Difficulty High
Remarks Chris Ourada's Type 2 Incident Command Team will take control of the fire at 0600 Monday morning. The Fire Danger for the Bridger-Teton National Forest remains at Very High.
Current Weather (9/10/12)
Wind Conditions 9 mph SW
Temperature 66 degrees