WISE RIVER - Firefighters are dealing with red flag conditions, meaning low humidity and increased winds, making it tough for crews to fight the two wildfires burning in Wise River and Wisdom.
“Really, really, really dry really early in the year, so that makes it makes it easier for a fire to sustain and grow,” said the public information officer for the Southern Area Incident Management Team Todd Schroeder.
The Alder Creek Fire burning seven miles west of Wise River has already forced officials to evacuate about 25 homes that are threatened by the fire as winds in the area pickup.
“The southwest winds will push the fire towards those homes, theoretically, so what the sheriff did was act proactively there, make sure you got people out in case that did happen, and if that does happen we have a plan in place to protect those homes,” said Schroeder.
Wise River resident Becky Stanchfield didn’t let the fire stop her from taking a jog with her dog Izzie. While her home is safe, she said her heart breaks for the people who’ve had to evacuate.
“When my friend called crying, it was tough. It was tough yesterday, I tried not to cry and at the very end, yeah, I cried with her. You just don’t know, and now we’re starting to get the nasty winds and we all know what the winds can do,” said Stanchfield.
The fire camp is being set up at the Wise River Airport just off the Pioneer Mountain Scenic Byway. This is going to be the headquarters from the team that’s fighting the Alder Creek Fire burning just a few miles west of here.
“It’s something we’re real familiar with. We’ve been out west fighting Type One fires for years and years and year, so we have the confidence that we’re going to be successful and the resources that we have and that we’re ordering in will help us to achieve that,” said Schroeder.
The fire was reported at nearly 2,500 acres as of Thursday.