Flat Creek Fire

The Flat Creek Fire in the Gros Ventre Wilderness, started by lightning, was about a quarter of an acre Friday, but is still burning. A command team is keeping an eye on it.

One new lightning-sparked wildfire is burning in the Gros Ventre Wilderness, and a Wyoming Range blaze had to be extinguished this week after a campfire ran out of control.

The Flat Creek Fire is just around a quarter of an acre but was still considered active Friday, four days after being located by firefighters in the subalpine zone east of Flat Creek Lake and south of Sheep Mountain, aka Sleeping Indian.

“About a third of the perimeter is still smoldering,” Bridger-Teton wildfire specialist Andy Norman said. “It’s not really growing very much.”

A type-four incident command team is keeping an eye on the fire and is creating “management action points” that will trigger full-blown suppression in the event it moves downhill toward Flat Creek Ranch, Norman said.

The fire is basically at tree line, he said. It’s in steep terrain with open grass and wildflowers, and isolated pockets of subalpine fir and spruce.

The same let-it-burn strategy was not employed on the Wyoming Range’s Spring Creek Fire, which burned over a half-acre of heavy dead and down timber before firefighters put it out Wednesday.

“This fire, determined by a fire investigator, was the cause of a careless human not fully extinguishing their warming fire,” officials posted to Teton Interagency Fire.

No large wildfires have burned in Jackson Hole or the Bridger-Teton National Forest so far this year, though on Aug. 4 the Wildlife Museum Fire burned over 89 acres of sage and grass on East Gros Ventre Butte.

A gauge of the landscape’s flammability, called an “energy release component,” that’s maintained by Teton Interagency Fire has charted below-average all summer.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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