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Columbine Fire Fact Sheet for August 17

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Date: August 17, 2007
Contact: Terina Mullen, 307-242-7649 (Media)
Contact: 24 Hr Recording, 307-344-2580
Contact: Resident Info, 307-578-5216

COLUMBINE FIRE FACT SHEET

Friday, August 17, 2007 9:00 a.m.

Contact: Public Information Officers 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: 18,500 acres     Containment: 0%

Yesterday’s Activities: The East Entrance Road remains closed due to increased fire activity and safety concerns. The fire was fairly active in the afternoon hours. The northwest flank of the fire progressed over Signal Hills. The southwestern corner of the fire backed down towards Yellowstone Lake. In Canfield creek, the fire moved down drainage to within 3 miles of the highway. Fire is established in the upper reaches of Cabin Creek drainage but has not moved into the "no name" drainage or Eagle Creek. The spot fires near Sylvan Pass and Middle Creek were kept in check with helicopter water bucket drops. For the past five days, firefighters have concentrated on structure protection efforts. Sprinklers, hose lays and pumps are in place at many of the structures, in preparation for possible eastward movement of the fire.

Resources on Fire: The number of firefighters assigned to the incident is 285. Resources assigned include five crews, one helicopter, twenty engines and two water tenders.

Today’s Strategy: The East Entrance Road closure will remain in effect and will be reassessed as needed. Much of the fire is located in areas that are inaccessible due to heavy fuels and steep terrain. The focus of the firefighting efforts remains on assessing and implementing structure protection needs along the North Fork corridor. A helicopter will be used for reconnaissance flights and for water bucket drops. 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?

Summer Crowd at Old Faithful.

At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.