“Significant progress” made Tuesday on the Shale Creek Fire north of Kemmerer

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Firefighter “pulling hose” at Shale Creek Fire north of Kemmerer. (Submitted photo(

July 21, 2021 — The Kemmerer District of Bridger-Teton National Forest has issued a closure order for the Shale Creek Fire, including some access trails and forest roads. This closure allows firefighters to work with aviation and in rugged terrain without risking public in the area. The closure also provides for public safety if the fire spreads.

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According to a Wednesday morning press release, firefighters made significant progress on the Shale Creek Fire yesterday, Tuesday, July 20. The fire grew minimally due to the combined efforts of aviation and ground resources. The fire was shown to be 160 acres with 10% containment as of 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. The number of firefighters on the scene was listed at 151.

The fire’s behavior moderated, but it remains active near the headwaters of Shale Creek on Indian Ridge east of Hams Fork River. Crews have found and suppressed nearly 80 spot fires, a challenge typical in the subalpine fir forest.

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Firefighters are deliberately pursuing a full suppression strategy to protect structures, permit areas, and sage grouse habitat to the east and south. Type 1 and Type 2 hand crews, smokejumpers, and helitack (firefighters transported to a fire via helicopter) remain spiked out. This remote area will still require significant air support in the coming days.

“We are in a good place operationally,” said Incident Commander Trainee Jacob Henrie, “Firefighters successfully extended line around the fire over a full burn period and through wind events.”

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