The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

Category: Wyoming Fires (page 2 of 9)

Bone Creek-Shell Canyon fire 9/8/07 AM

InciWeb still lists the Bone Creek fire at 13,670 acres and 25% contained, but the number of personnel working the fire is now at 138.

Fire Behavior: Smoldering in duff and heavy timber.

Projected Movement: Expect minimal fire behavior over the weekend (September 8 – 9) due to forecasted cool down with moisture.

According to today’s News Release on InciWeb:

Greybull, WY – Cooler weather along with some much needed moisture helped firefighters gain 25 percent containment on the Bone Creek Fire. The present trend is forecasted to continue through the weekend. Fire Behavior Analyst Clint Dawson said that the current weather forecast calls for snow over parts of the fire from Saturday night through Sunday morning. According to Dawson, the main concern will be a warm and drying trend that will take hold in the middle of next week.

Additional air and ground resources have arrived to help contain the fire. Firefighters will take advantage of the cool down to focus on hot spotting and the construction of containment lines.

Firefighters will only work day shifts on the Bone Creek Fire. Lessons learned during the 1984 Shell Canyon Fire demonstrated that the area is just too rugged to safely work at night.

Current information, along with maps and photographs, can be viewed on line at

Fire Facts:

Size: 13, 670 acres
Containment: 25%
Personnel Assigned: 138
Crews: 1 Type I Hot Shot Crew
2 Regular Type II Crews
Air Resources: 2 Heavy Helicopters and 2 Light Helicopter
Engines: 4
Dozers: 0
Water Tenders: 4
Structures Threatened: 46 residence, 5 commercial property and 20 outbuildings
Costs to Date: Estimate $1,300,000
Land Ownership: Bighorn National Forest

Bone Creek-Shell Canyon fire 9/7/07

US14 is now open and the fire has now grown to 13,670 acres and is listed as 25% contained.

According to InciWeb:

Planned Actions: Type II incident management team assumed management of the fire at 8:00pm Thursday. Crews continue to work on the fire. Additional firefighting resources have also been ordered. Work will be accomplished during daylight hours for firefighter safety due to the rugged terrain.

Remarks: Travel on Hwy 14 with caution. There are heavy firefighter traffic and debris in the road. Wyoming Department of Transportation is repairing the guardrail along the highway with traffic control in place for the safety of the traveling public and the contractors doing the work.

Bone Creek-Shell Canyon fire 9/6/07

InciWeb is reporting that the fire has calmed down considerably with the lower temperatures and higher humidity and that US14 is closed from Granite Pass to the mouth of Shell Canyon.

At this time, US Highway 14 is closed from Granite Pass to the mouth of Shell Canyon, about 5 miles east of Shell, WY. Medicine Wheel/Paintrock District Ranger Dave Sisk said, “It remains our priority to work with the Sheriff’s Office and Wyoming Highway Patrol in opening US 14 just as soon as it is safe for the public and firefighters.”

Bone Creek-Shell Canyon fire 9/5/07 AM

The weather last evening and early this morning cause a setback for firefighting efforts on the Bone Creek fire. The total involved acreage is now estimated at 12,000, and containment has gone from 60% down to 15%.

According to InciWeb:

Fire Behavior: The Bone Creek Fire jumped US Highway 14 in Shell Canyon between Post Creek Picnic Ground and a point 1 mile west of the Shell Falls Visitor Center in the early morning hours of September 5.

Significant Events: A strong cold front passed through the area Tuesday night which resulted in a wind shift that pushed the fire across Shell Creek and Highway 14.

Remarks: A Type II incident management team, a supervisory overhead group, has been ordered to help manage the fire. Additional firefighting resources have also been ordered.

Hopefully the cooler weather over the next few days will slow things down again.

[Edit: Highway 14 is closed between Burgess Junction and Shell, WY]

Wood smoke

The past few days have been hot with low humidity, and the Bone Creek fire in the Big Horn Mountains just west of me has picked back up. Most days, the smoke does not come down into Sheridan, but this afternoon the winds were out of the northwest, and the smoke descended on us, filling the air with that sweet smell.

I find the smell of wood smoke unbelievably intoxicating and if I relax into its sweet embrace it will carry me away. I’m not sure where this link to wood smoke comes from, but I’ve had it as long as I can remember. I spent about an hour sitting out on my steps tonight surrounded by it’s sweetness. At one point, I became aware of a soft distant drumming, then came the chanting of some Native American ceremony, and I could sense them dancing around a fire in their finest ceremonial dress. It was at this point that the mosquitos and bugs became too much of a distraction and I came back inside.

Tonight I will sleep with all my windows open and invite the spirits of the smoke to come in and again carry me away.

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