By Jim Stanford on September 9, 2012
Updated 2:15 p.m. with closure map, after jump
Despite an intensive effort by firefighters, the Little Horsethief Fire continues to burn south of Jackson, and with high winds expected today, the Bridger-Teton National Forest has closed trails around Snow King and Cache Creek.
The fire had burned 750 acres as of this morning, according to the interagency incident page. Despite drops of water and flame retardant by tankers and helicopters, it was only 10 percent contained as of 10 p.m. last night. The fire is moving north and northeast.
One Teton County fire engine was destroyed last night while refueling when an ember landed on spilled gasoline. Firefighters ran and escaped without injury.
Wind gusts of 30 mph from the southwest are expected today. Game Creek residents have been told to stay ready to evacuate, if necessary.
The Snow King chairlift will not operate. Trails are closed around Cache and Game creeks, except for a short loop near the Cache parking lot. The Ferrin’s Trail on Snow King is closed.
“With the winds and fire weather predicted it is unsafe to have anyone back in the Cache Creek drainage,” fire managers posted on the incident page.
The fire started at about 3 p.m. Saturday at the mouth of Little Horsethief Canyon, 5 miles south of town. It appears to have started in someone’s backyard, although fire managers have not yet identified the cause.
Three helicopters are fighting the blaze, along with four engines. Firefighters from the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Grand Teton National Park are working together. A Type II team, which brings additional state and federal resources, has been requested for this evening.
Last night, fire managers lifted the evacuation order for the Little Horsethief, Elk Drive and Deer Drive area, although residents should remain cautious.
(Photos by Taylor Phillips/EcoTour Adventures)
Update 2:15 p.m.: Here is the closure map:
Update: Here is a photo of the burnt engine, by Sargent Schutt: