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Jefferson Co. Sheriff: Willow Creek Fire was human-caused

Despite Thursday's high winds, there was no growth to the fire
Posted at 12:52 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 19:30:15-04

THREE FORKS — The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has reported the Willow Creek Fire’s cause is human, as reported by the DNRC.

The fire is located 6 miles southwest of Three Forks, west of Hwy 287 and north of Hwy 2. The Lewis & Clark Cavern entrance is located on Hwy 2. The Willow Creek Fire burned in grass, brush, and timber. Areas of the fire are very steep and inaccessible by fire engines. Four helicopters dropped water on the fire's forward progress to reduce its spread during the first day. Fire resources worked through the evening.

Approximately 54 structures are in the fire area. On Thursday, the fire held through the high winds and there was no growth to the fire.

Today firefighters will be working to secure the fire’s perimeter and begin mop-up operations with the goal of completing 2-chains (132 feet in from the fire's edge) by end of shift today. Mop-up is when hand crews grid the burned area looking for hot spots and extinguishing any they find.

The fire was first reported to Dillon Dispatch Wednesday at 3:37 PM. Local, state and federal firefighters responded quickly including fire departments from Gallatin, Broadwater and Jefferson County.

Yesterday the fire held through the high winds and there was no growth to the fire. The DNRC County Assist Team was in-briefed by local and state authorities. Incident Commander, David Hamilton and Patrick Lonergan (trainee) assumed management of the fire Wednesday at 12:00 pm. Firefighters took all measures to ensure their safety as the erratic high winds kept them on heightened alert.

The DNRC County Assist Team was in-briefed by local and state authorities. Incident Commander, David Hamilton and Patrick Lonergan (trainee) assumed management of the fire Wednesday at 12:00 pm. Firefighters took all measures to ensure their safety as the erratic high winds kept them on heightened alert.

Inciweb photo