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Crew still at Burroughs site; firefighter injures knee at fire

Sep 5, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Four residences and another 20 structures have been threatened by the flames, but officials said no property has been damaged.

A crew member fighting the Burroughs Fire north of Dubois was transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital on Wednesday to be treated for an injured knee, officials said.

U.S. Forest Service fire information officer Carl Jungck said the fireman was working on a steep slope when he twisted his knee on a rock.

The fire was discovered on Aug. 30 but probably began Aug. 29 when lightning struck about 12 miles north of Dubois according to investigators. The blaze is burning in a thick, timbered stand of standing dead and down trees along Burroughs Creek and on Ranger Ridge in the Upper Horse Creek Basin.

Fuels involved include heavy dead and down timber affected by dense beetle kill.

Four residences and another 20 structures have been threatened by the flames, but officials said no property has been damaged as a result of the fire.

Firefighters have been stationed near ranch structures, some of which were within 100 yards of the flames, Jungck said.

T-Cross and Moose Willow Ranches and the Horse Creek Campground are under mandatory evacuation. The Old Livingston Place is under pre-evacuation notice; residents are encouraged to be prepared and ready to leave. USFS Road 510 (Burroughs Creek Loop) is closed. USFS Road 285 (Double Cabin Road) and USFS Road 511 (Brent Creek Road) are open to traffic with restrictions. Both will be closed 6-8 a.m. and 8-10 pm. Daily to allow for safe passage of fire traffic and personnel. No stopping or camping will be allowed in the Burroughs Fire closure area. Fire conditions can change quickly so possible evacuations and closures could occur with short notice, meaning travelers may have to remain in place if the roads are impacted by fire.

A Type III management team is in place, with incident command post set up at the Dubois Volunteer Fire Department. A staging area and helibase are established at Horse Creek Guard Station. There are three Type II crews, two Type I crews, eight engines and two type III and one type II helicopters on scene. About 145 people were assigned to the fire as of Thursday, when the blaze still was listed at 1,794 acres and 14 percent contained.

Jungck said the initial response to the Burroughs Fire was "pretty intense," with his agency and local firefighters requesting backup from smoke jumpers, helicopters and slurry bombers from throughout the region. The fire reportedly was "running, torching, crowning and spotting" up to half of a mile in front of the main portion of the blaze.

One regional hot shot crew remained in the area this week, but several other responders from out-of-state have been sent home.

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