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Columbine Fire Fact Sheet for August 16

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Date: August 16, 2007
Contact: Terina Mullen, 307-242-7649  Media
Contact: 24-hr Recording, 307-344-2580
Contact: Resident Info Phone, 307-578-5216

COLUMBINE FIRE FACT SHEET

Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:00 a.m.

Contact: Public Information Officer Terina Mullen and Jill Cobb
Media Phone: (307) 242-7649
24 hour Recording: (307) 344-2580
Resident Information Phone: (307) 578-5216

The East Entrance Road into Yellowstone has been closed due to increased fire activity.

What: Wildland fire, lightning caused

Started: August 9, 2007 6:00 p.m.

Location: 46 miles southeast of Mammoth, Yellowstone National Park

Jurisdiction: Yellowstone National Park

Cooperating Agencies: Yellowstone National Park, Shoshone National Forest, Cody Rural FD, Park County Sheriff.

Incident Commander & Team: A Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team (IMT), under Incident Commander Mark Grant assumed command as of 8:00 a.m. August 12, 2007.

Current size: 13,000 acres    Containment: 0%

Yesterday’s Activities: The East Entrance Road remains closed due to increased fire activity and safety concerns. The fire activity increased in the late afternoon and spotted to the east into Canfield Creek and Cabin Creek. Single tree and group tree torching were reported. A smaller spot fire was located in a scree slope in the top third of Cabin Creek. By early evening, the fire was well-established in the top third of Canfield Creek, triggering a pre-evacuation alert for residents from Pahaska Tepee to the Boy Scout Camp near Kitty Creek. Fire operations staff worked with the Park County Sheriff and the Shoshone National Forest to inform residents. The spot fire near Middle Creek was kept in check with helicopter water bucket drops. An infrared flight was flown late in the evening to evaluate the change in the fire perimeter. Firefighters focused on structure protection. Sprinklers, hose lays and pumps are prepped at many of the structures to enhance the level of protection, should the fire progress towards the developments.

Resources on Fire: The number of firefighters assigned to the incident is 167. Resources assigned include one crew, three helicopters, ten engines and one water tender.

Today’s Strategy: The East Entrance Road closure will remain in effect and will be reassessed as needed. Much of the fire is in areas that are inaccessible due to heavy fuels and steep terrain. The focus of the firefighting efforts remains on implementing structure protection needs along the North Fork corridor. Helicopters will be used to drop water, cooling the fire. The weather forecast calls for cooler temperatures and slightly lighter winds from the southwest; however, fire behavior is again expected to be active. More firefighting resources are expected to arrive and assist with suppression efforts. Residents in the North Fork corridor seeking more information regarding the fire’s progression and the evacuation plan are encouraged to call the residential information line at (307) 578-5216.

Special Messages: Firefighter and public safety is always the #1 priority on any fire incident. Visitors to the Park need to be especially mindful of the increased traffic in the Fishing Bridge Area.

Restrictions & Closures: Fire restrictions are in effect in Yellowstone National Park. Wood fires and charcoal grills are not allowed. Portable camp stoves and lanterns which use white gas, kerosene, compressed gas or similar fuels and sheepherder-type stoves with spark arrester screens may be used in the backcountry. Wood fires and charcoal grills will be allowed in the front country of the park only in designated fire rings or grates at picnic areas and in developed campgrounds. Smoking is permitted only inside vehicles, on sidewalks, in gravel or paved parking areas and in developed campgrounds. Fireworks are prohibited in the Park and on all surrounding National Forest lands.Fire restrictions on adjacent lands administered by the Shoshone National Forest have been lifted. No fire restrictions are in place.

For further fire information, visit: www.inciweb.org

Did You Know?

Seventh Cavalry Ensignia Pin.

Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.