Friday, August 8, 2008

Gunbarrel and LeHardy fires update

A new map of the Gunbarrel fire west of Cody, WY is available, produced from an infrared flight at 8:19 p.m. August 6. Cooler temperatures and higher humidities have moderated the fire activity for the last couple of days and allowed the evacuation orders to be lifted. The fire has burned 35,500 acres.

The same weather pattern has also slowed the spread of the LeHardy fire in Yellowstone National Park, which has burned 9,332 acres and is 5% contained according to the latest information from the park.

The map below is the result of an infrared flight (IR) at 8:11 p.m. August 6. The IR interpreter determined the number of burned acres to be 7,318. The legend is hard to read, but the black cross-hatched areas are intense heat, and the red dots (or reddish areas) are scattered heat. Fishing bridge and Yellowstone Lake are at the bottom of the map. Click on it to see a larger version.

One of the IR planes scheduled to fly the fire last night had a mechanical problem and was grounded at West Yellowstone, waiting for a mechanic.

The photo was taken by Carter Marsh on the LeHardy fire. It is a Sikorsky S-61 and has a similar paint scheme as the Carson S-61s, one of which was involved in the recent crash on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

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