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Cliff Creek and Lava Mountain Fires in Wyoming – July 26, 2016

Cliff Creek and Lava Mountain fires in Wyoming
Cliff Fire and Lava Mountain fire in Wyoming continue to grow in July 2016.

The Cliff Fire (lower left) is continuing to grow but relatively slowly. It is currently 16, 863 acres in size and is 10% contained. It is being actively suppressed by firefighters except when it encroaches into the Gros Ventre Wilderness area where it will be allowed to burn as an ecological role in the wilderness area. Firefighters also continue the burnout process to control the amount of fuel the fire can use by burning that fuel ahead of the fire in a structured environment. Most vulnerable is the Granite creek drainage area that firefighters continue to protect. Weather continues to play a part in the fire fighting efforts and today’s weather (July 26) is not particularly helpful. An increase in cloud cover this afternoon may result in a thunderstorm development with a low chance of precipitation. Lightning strikes from this weather pattern could produce new fires.

The Lava Mountain fire (upper right) is continuing to grow as well coming into today at 8,020 acres. The fire is burning slowly in the dense dead timber but at times the weather has played a role with continuous heating of heavy fuels and/or exposure to wind. The south section of the fire is pushing east near the Sand Butte area. If this continues unabated the fire will be pushed by the wind towards the Union Pass road. Several areas are now being asked to evacuate because of the direction of the fire including: Union Pass, Porcupine, Warm Springs, and Hat Butte. Low humidity and gusting winds will continue to contribute to fire growth over the next 24-48 hours.

NASA’s Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS, instrument on July 25, 2016. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner with information from Inciweb.