Crews making progress on wildfire near Kemmerer


KEMMERER — Firefighters have made considerable progress on the Shale Creek Fire. Crews are working toward full suppression in the remote ridges and drainages east of Hams Fork River.

The fire is burning within the earlier 2000 Fontenelle Fire in a landscape of meadows, dead and downed timber, and forest. The fire has been mapped at 189 acres. Containment had grown to 45% as of July 24. Firefighters continue to watch for and respond to a range of fire behavior — smoldering, creeping,  and isolated torching of single trees, especially in islands of unburned timber and brush in its interior. New spot fires have been discovered and controlled within the containment line.

Ground and helitack crews are still securing and strengthening the line in the Shale Creek drainage. They will also assess how to safely reduce risks from ongoing torching within the fire’s perimeter. Recent aviation activity has included an infrared mapping flight to identify areas of concern.

Smokejumpers and hotshots are being released to respond to new starts in the area.

“I want to express gratitude to the many people who have helped the containment process succeed so far,” said Ron Steffens, Shale Creek Incident Commander. ”What we have achieved in less than a week is due to their efforts.”

A warming and drying trend occurred last  weekend over the fire. Days will be sunny to partly cloudy. Highs will reach the low 80s. Lows will be in the 50s.

Unless there are significant changes in weather or fire behavior, the next major update will be released by Wednesday, July 28.

For closure orders and alerts from Bridger-Teton National Forest, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/btnf/alerts-notices.

Information can also be found at Teton Fires: https://www.tetonfires.com

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