As firefighters rushed to protect structures, the Fishhawk fire grew to about 16 square miles by Thursday morning — larger than the nearby community of Cody, Wyoming.
A type 2 management team has been called in to oversee the firefighting effort, including the placement of personnel and equipment to protect the Kitty Creek cabins and the Buffalo Bill Boy Scout Camp's 15 structures, valued at about $1 million.
"We're in the off-season so no one is in camp, including staff," said Brad Bodoh, scout executive for The Greater Wyoming Council of the Boy Scouts. "Currently there are fire crews in camp and the vicinity."
Those crews have installed pumps in the North Fork of the Shoshone River to provide water for hoses.
"The reality is the geography is helping a lot to contain things," Bodoh said. "Fire doesn't like backing down steep cliffs. So it seems to be sticking in the drainage."
Aircraft are dropping water to keep the fire from spreading north to the structures, Bodoh said, which are about four miles away from the blaze.
"We've had to evacuate before, many years ago," he said. "But this is the closest fire has ever gotten to the camp."
The Park County Sheriff’s Office issued a mandatory evacuation for the dozen or so cabins and the Boy Scout camp on Wednesday night as the fire "had significant growth to the north."
Hotshot crews were staged at the Boy Scout Camp to monitor the fire throughout the night. Today, structure protection work continues in the North Fork of the Shoshone River corridor where there are several guest lodges.
Images from Wednesday and Thursday of the Fishhawk Fire near Cody, which is now estimated at 16 square miles.
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Firefighters have been building fire lines around structures in Kitty Creek in addition to implementing structure protection around nearby lodges. Due to rugged terrain and safety concerns for firefighters, the southern perimeter of the fire will be monitored by aircraft.
Thursday's weather could include thunderstorms after 3 p.m. with lightning, possible rain, and 10-20 mph winds out of the west.
Due to smoke, there is decreased visibility along Highway 14/16/20, the road to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park that connects to Cody, Wyoming, which is about 42 miles east of the fire. The park's East Entrance remains open. Drivers are advised to use caution on the route as smoke from the fire may impair visibility.
The Shoshone National Forest has implemented an area closure around the Fishhawk fire for public safety. For a map of the closure area go to: www.fs.usda.gov/shoshone.
For evacuation of livestock, ranchers should contact Jamey Morlan with Park County Fairgrounds at 307-250-0634 or 307-899-2200.
Nearby, the Shoshone National Forest has dispatched eight smokejumpers and two hotshot crews to the 47-acre Stink Water fire burning in the Sunlight Basin. The firefighters are sharing helicopters with the Fishhawk fire but have also ordered their own heavy helicopter, according to a forest official.
Two nearby structures on private land are being protected and the Sulphur Creek Road, NSFR 108, has been closed for public safety and to allow for firefighting operations.
Updated information for the Stink Water fire will be posted on Inciweb.