A mandatory evacuation has been issued by the Shoshone National Forest for Kitty Creek cabins and Buffalo Bill Boy Scout Cabins in the North Fork due to encroachment of the Fishhawk Fire beyond a protection boundary point.
Owners and residents of the cabins need to immediately leave the area because of the encroaching fire.
“Property can be replaced. Human lives cannot,” National Forest staff wrote on their Facebook page in regards to the evacuation.
National Forest staff are making preparations to protect properties in the area but they report the evacuation is still mandatory.
Around 7:15 p.m. the Park County Sheriff’s Office released a pre-evacuation notice.
The notice was not a full-evacuation call and only an alert for preparation but the Sheriff’s Office said, “this is an advanced notice that the fire has breached a line of protection that indicates a possible encroachment in the area of these residences.”
About 50 minutes later the National Forest upped the warning on their Facebook page.
An informational staging area has been set up for evacuees in the Park County Courthouse parking lot, according to the National Forest Facebook post.
Jack Tatum, Park County homeland security coordinator, said only one person from the evacuated area had checked in as of 9 p.m. That person he said, from the BSA summer camp, informed him no one is camping there at the moment and there is no livestock on the grounds. He was told the fire is "burning pretty actively" right now.
If people are in need of hotel rooms Tatum will connect them to the Red Cross, which will provide means for free hotel rooms.
As of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday the fire had burned 4,581 acres, according to infrared mapping obtained from an overflight of the burn.
The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team (type 2) is now shadowing and supporting National Forest staff and other members of the type 3 incident management team before taking over management of the physical fire.
“This fire is in some rugged, hazardous terrain. Our number one priority is the safety of firefighters and the public; we are being tactical about what resources we use where and when it is safe to do so,” said Incident Commander Jay Slagowski in a Wednesday morning press release.
The Fishhawk Trail, Kitty Creek trail and Blackwater Trail are all currently closed.