WISDOM — Two wild fires, one burning west of Wisdom, the other just west of Wise River, are concerning firefighters as they continue to grow and weather conditions get drier and hotter.
“It’s extremely tough with all the dead fuel component on the ground. It’s just too dangerous to put boots on the ground in there,” said U.S. Forest Service Spokesperson Arlee Staley.
The Trail Creek Fire about 20 miles west of Wisdom was reported at about 2,000 acres and the Alder Creek Fire near Wise River was just under 300 acres as of Monday. Both fires were reported July 8.
Helicopters are dropping water on them, but ground crews have been limited.
“We are doing the best we can with the resources we have. There are several fires around the nation, so resources are at a premium,” said Staley.
Crews are trying to direct the fires away from structures, especially in the Wise River area where there are some homes within a few miles of the fire.
“They are prepping some of those houses, going around having homeowners move woodpiles away from their houses, anything flammable, get it away from your house, sprinkle your lawn,” said Staley.
At the Trail Creek Fire, there are several spot fires burning in the area; in fact, the fire leapt across Highway 43, creating spot fires all along the route and a lot of smoke.
“One thing that’s really important, when you are near a fire area and you see a lot of fire traffic on the roads, please slow down. Highway 43 is extremely smoky between Wisdom and Wise River, it’s just really smoky in the valley,” said Staley.
A much larger Type One crew consisting of firefighters from the Southeastern United States will be arriving here to take command of these two fires this week.