by nathan oster
Cooler temperatures and higher humidity on Tuesday helped firefighters reach 100 percent containment on the Roane Creek fire, which has been burning in the Bighorn National Forest since a lightning strike last week.
The U.S. Forest Service reported the fire in timber and grass about two miles south of U.S. Highway 14 in the Pete’s Hole area on Thursday. High temps, low humidity and strong winds pushed the fire to 25 acres on Friday and to 30 acres by the weekend.
By Sunday, fire crews including one Type 2 IA crew (Yankton), three helicopters, one water tender, two hotshot crews (Tatanka and San Juan), firefighters and support crew had brought the fire to 60 percent containment.
It reached 100 percent containment on Tuesday. Firefighters were continuing to secure control lines and check for hot spots as the day drew to a close.
While many of the firefighting resources were being released, the USFS planned to keep a Tatanka hotshot crew, a 10-person hand crew and a light helicopter on scene to continue mopping it up.
Two fires in the Hyattville area were also started by lightning last week, according to Big Horn County Fire Warden Brent Godfrey.
One fire, dubbed Hyatt by the Bureau of Land Management, consumed five acres. It was located six miles northeast of Hyattville. The BLM was responsible for containing the fire.
The second fire was approximately one mile west of Medicine Lodge and consumed 81 acres, Godfrey said. Firefighters from Basin, Ten Sleep, Manderson, Hyattville and the BLM responded and were able to get the fire contained.
No structures were destroyed in either fire, Godfrey said.
Godfrey said there are no fire restrictions in Big Horn County at this time but he will be reviewing the conditions weekly.
According to the Forest Service, “Fire restrictions are not in force in the Bighorn National Forest at this time. If the hot and dry weather persists, restrictions may be implemented. Partial fire restrictions in Sheridan County apply only to state, county, and private lands.”