Fewer Fires

Cody – Firefighters are wrapping up their work on a blaze northwest of Cody. The Dillworth Fire, which was visible from the Chief Joseph Highway, grew to only six acres. It’s indicative of the mild fire season in the Shoshone National Forest and Yellowstone so far this summer.

The only smoke visible above the Beartooth Mountains near Clarke now is a haze from out of state. The mountains had an exceptional snow pack this season, and the rain has continued through early summer.

The Dillworth Fire, which started in the Shoshone Forest several miles outside Yellowstone’s northeast entrance, was relatively small.
Shoshone National Fire Management Officer Mark Giacoletto said, “It spread to about six acres. But we were able to get crews in there and today they should finish up for the fire.”

This time last year, firefighters were dealing with the Hardluck Fire on the Southfork that grew to more than 25,000 acres.”

Even that was small compared to the Gunbarrel Blaze in the Shoshone Forest outside Yellowstone in 2008, that burned nearly 70,000 acres. And, the East and Grizzly Fires scorched 17 miles of forest inside the Park’s East Entrance in 2003.

Yellowstone Spokesman Al Nash says there’ve been only three fires inside the Park so far this summer, all one tenth of an acre or smaller.
Giacoletto said, “Right now, in general for Northwest Wyoming our fire conditions at moderate level. They’re running below average. We’ve had fewer than average fires now in acres burned.”

Shoshone National Forest Fire Management Officer Mark Giacoletto says many of the firefighters were sent elsewhere.

Giacoletto explained, “Several firefighters that are off in Washington, Oregon, helping them with the efforts out there.”

But, they may have to come back soon. Grasses are drying in the Big Horn Basin. The National Weather Service is issuing a Fire Weather watch in the Cody Foothills Thursday.

Riverton’s senior National Weather Service forecaster, Paul Skrbac said the weather forecast for August includes above normal precipitation, which may help hold down fires in Wyoming.