Two Top Fire Update September 1, 2013
Incident: Two Top Fire Wildfire
Despite warmer temperatures and lower humidity, firefighters had a good day Saturday. They worked to suppress two lightning caused fires which were discovered Friday Afternoon, August 30, southwest of West Yellowstone, Montana near the Continental Divide between Montana and Idaho. The fire has not made significant runs, but has continued to skip to the east and north east. The fire is torching single trees and groups of trees as well as areas of heavy dead and down trees.
TWO TOP FIRE: Saturday, due to other area fires that have been able to scale back operations, aerial resources including air tankers and helicopters, were able to put a large quantity of water and fire retardant on the fire. Smokejumpers, hot shot crews, an engine, and a bulldozer took advantage of the air support to begin construction of fire line. As of late Saturday night, the fire was estimated at just 130 acres. No containment percentage has been estimated.
In addition to the 19 smokejumpers from Grangeville and Boise, Idaho and West Yellowstone, the Bitterroot Hotshots and Navajo Hotshots will be joined today by the Idaho Panhandle Hotshots and another Type 1 crew from British Columbia. An engine from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and a bulldozer also remain assigned to the fire. Aerial support Sunday will be delivered by five helicopters.
Sunday’s goal is to build upon Saturday’s efforts to construct more fire line, reinforce the fire line already constructed, and work to limit the growth and advance of the fire.
MOSQUITO FIRE: Saturday morning crews were able to get a dozer line around the 3 acre fire. Throughout the day they continued to seek out hot spots securing the line. Sunday they will continue those operations. This fire is now 100% contained.
Since the two fires have been able to secure a significant number of fire personnel, a small camp will be set up north of West Yellowstone, east of Rainbow Point and east of US-191. In addition, a separate helibase is being established on Edwards Point near Horse Butte. This will help to support those valued resources.
Sunday will be a day of mop-up. After completing a bulldozer around the 3 acre fire, 20,000 gallons of water were poured on the fire Saturday. Sunday will see firefighters securing the perimeter and seeking out hot spots.
WEATHER: Sunday is forecast to be warmer and drier than Saturday, with sunny skies and a high in the mid 80s, relative humidity as low at 11%, and fairly light winds. These conditions will prompt active burning by late morning, producing a smoke column visible from West Yellowstone, Island Park, Idaho, and along portions of US-20.
TEMPORARY CLOSURE: The Custer and Gallatin National Forests have temporarily closed some National Forest System lands around the two fires to the public. Detailed information will be posted along road and trail access points and will be available at the Hebgen Lake Ranger District office in West Yellowstone. The closure order and a map of the closure area as well as any updated fire information will also be posted online at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3714/.
These fires do not pose a threat to area residents or visitors. US-20, US-191 and US-287 are all open, as are all businesses in the communities of West Yellowstone, Montana, and Island Park, Idaho. There are no plans for the evacuation of West Yellowstone or Island Park. The West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is open.