I visited the Mitchell Fire

I did go visit the Mitchell fire burning in the Deep Creek Mountains of SE Idaho yesterday.

Earlier story (which prompted my visit).

A violent thunderstorm came up just about as I arrived. I ate a lot of dust and smoke. The storm redistributed the fire, which was burning in heavy fuels up the west side of Bull Canyon into higher and higher country. A lot of rain dropped near the head of the fire, which will hopefully help bring this under control.

The fire is mostly burning native grasses, aspen, chokecherry, mountain mahogany, bitterbrush, sagebrush, and pockets of fir. This is great wildlife habitat. The “heavy fuels” should not be interpreted to mean the area needs to burn. There was little or no cheatgrass and the area ought to regenerate well (my opinion) if they can keep off road vehicles off the fire lines they have constructed.

The fire was started from sparks generated by a combine (ag equipment).

I put up some photos on Google Earth.

mitchell-wildfire1.jpg
Burn pattern of Mitchell Fire. Aug. 14, 2007. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Yellowstone East Entrance closed again

It was closed again at 8 pm Tuesday due to a spot fire along the East Entrance road. It is closed until further notice.

The road had been open for 12 hours since the previous closure.

Update Aug. 16. The East Entrance is still closed. Here is the detailed story from the Billings Gazette. Fire jumps outside Yellowstone Park. Businesses see traffic redirected from East Entrance closure. By Ruffin Prevost. Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau.

Here is the latest on the Columbine Fire from Inciweb. It’s now 13,000 acres.

The fire on The Promontory in Yellowstone Lake was very active yesterday too, and my colleague Mark McBeth captured a good photo of it.

lake-fire.jpg
Telephoto of fire on The Promentory Aug. 15. Copyright Mark McBeth.

Posted in Wildfires, Yellowstone National Park. Comments Off on Yellowstone East Entrance closed again

Idaho wildfire news. August 15.

Numerous stories today.

Yellow Pine resists ‘mandatory’ evacuation. ‘There was about to be a revolution if they said we had to leave’. By Heath Druzin. Idaho Statesman. This story could be repeated many times around the globe. Local residents are warned of a volcano, landslide, hurricane, flood, fire, etc.. Some refuse to leave and pay with their lives, but often their risky decision pays off.

Forest Service closes upper portion of the Middle Fork of Salmon River indefinitely. By Roger Phillips and Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. The main and most of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River are now closed to float trips due to nearby (or immediate) forest fires. These are major backcountry tourist destinations for those looking for a scenic, wilderness river experience.