June 18, 2018 – The Willow Creek Fire is located north of Highway 40 and Strawberry reservoir on the Heber-Kamas Ranger District. The fire was reported on June 6, 2018 and investigators have determined it was caused by lightning. No structures, campgrounds, or powerlines are threatened. This will be the last official press release for this fire.
Thanks to the hard work of firefighters, the Willow Creek Fire is now 54% completed, and has remained at 1,301 acres. Due to the progress made, the Type 3 Incident Management Team will transition back to the local home unit of Heber-Kamas Ranger District starting today.
There has been no growth on the fire for the last several days. Smoke will continue to be visible from surrounding areas as the fire creeps through down and dead fuels with some isolated torching in the timber. Fire personnel will continue working along Bjorkman road and Co-op Creek road to remove hazard trees and fast-burning fuels, and continue suppression efforts, if necessary.
Heavy equipment is being utilized around Bjorkman road to reduce fuel loads and hazard trees. Fire managers are utilizing a confine/containment strategy rather than full suppression on this natural-caused fire, because of the significant ecological benefits to the land, aspen regeneration, minimizing hazardous fuels and protecting critical sage-grouse habitat.
There are currently a total of 91 personnel assigned to the fire, including three engines, one 20-person hotshot crew, one 20-person initial attack crew, and multiple pieces of heavy equipment.
A temporary area closure remains in place due to active fire still in the area and heavy equipment operations. Please help keep our firefighters safe by respecting area and road closures. The closure is north of Highway 40, west of Co-op Creek road (area closure includes Forest Service roads #451 and #393), south of Bjorkman Hollow road and east of Strawberry River road (area closure includes Forest Service roads #389 and #735). This area will be closed for public and firefighter safety. The Bjorkman Hollow road is closed. Co-Op road will remain open up to the seasonal closure gate. Strawberry River road will also remain open.