Aug 6, 2016

Whit Fire 15 percent contained; evacuation orders lifted

Fire crews managed to contain 15 percent of the Whit Fire on Friday, making “significant progress” on the fire’s northwestern edge.

Further, “ALL EVACUATIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED!!” fire managers enthusiastically announced on Saturday morning. “Residents and landowners are now allowed back to their property.”

That’s good news for a couple hundred North and South Fork residents who’d been told to leave their homes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Two of the CL415 (“Superscoopers”) parked at Yellowstone Regional Airport on Friday. Photo courtesy Bruce Salzmann/InciWeb
The Whit Fire, about 12 miles west of Cody, was estimated at roughly 10,200 acres on Saturday. Around 500 firefighters were working to snuff it out, with more on the way. The crew being supervised by Type 1 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team on Saturday included 12 hand crews, 22 fire engines, three water tends, nine helicopters and seven airplanes.

Crews have been working on firelines to stop the fire’s growth to the north and south and have continued to “mop-up, assess, triage and patrol properties in the fire’s vicinity” on both the North and South Forks. Some crews were going to be ferried in by helicopter to the flanks of the fire on Saturday.

After roaring to 9,600 acres between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday night, the Whit Fire had relatively little growth on Thursday and Friday. However, Friday night cloud cover kept humidity lower and temperatures higher, so fire managers suspect it could be more active on Saturday.

Fire managers plan to hold another public meeting about the Whit Fire at 6 p.m. Saturday at Glenn Livingston Elementary School.

Authorities have said the fire appears to have been accidentally started by a person on Whit Creek Road, south of the North Fork Highway, on Tuesday afternoon.


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