Wildfire Continues to Burn Southwest of Three Forks
UPDATE: Friday, June 11 at 4:15 p.m.
Today firefighters are working to secure the fire’s perimeter and begin mop-up operations with the goal of completing 2-chains (132 feet in from the fires edge) by end of shift today. Mop-up is when hand crews grid the burned area looking for hot spots and extinguishing any they find. Yesterday the fire held through the high winds and there was no growth to the fire.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has reported the fire’s cause is human. Law enforcement contacted residents along Milligan Canyon Road Wednesday providing them with a pre-evacuation notice. Approximately 54 structures are in the fire area.
Original Story below.
On Wednesday, June 9 at 3:37 p.m., the Willow Creek Fire was first reported to Dillon Dispatch. Smoke from the fire could be seen from the west end of Gallatin Valley on Wednesday after.
Local, state and federal firefighters responded quickly including fire departments from Gallatin, Broadwater and Jefferson County.
The Willow Creek Fire was estimated at 500 acres as of 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. The fire is burning in grass, brush and timber. Areas of the fire are very steep and inaccessible by ground.
Four Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) helicopters are working the fire. Additional air and ground resources have been ordered and are on their way. Currently, fire activity has slowed down, and the fire is not currently growing rapidly in size. Fire resources will continue to work through the evening. Firefighters will remain on heightened alert and all measures to ensure firefighter safety will be taken as weather forecasts indicate erratic winds and thunderstorms in the future.
The fire is between Highway 2 past the Lewis & Clark Caverns near Three Forks, west of Willow Creek. The fire is approximately 500 acres. No cause of the fire has been given. Jefferson County has requested assistance and the DNRC's County Assist Team arrived Thursday morning to help.
No evacuations are in place. Law enforcement is contacting residents in the fire area to put them on notice. Less than ten structures are currently threatened, and the fire is moving away from a sub-division area containing numerous structures.
For more information and updates about the Willow Creek Fire, click here.