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Evacuations lifted for Fish Fire residents

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Fish Fire

The Fish Fire is burning on the Bearlodge Ranger District, Black Hills National Forest in Crook County, Wyoming. As of Friday, the fire has burned 6,668 acres and is reported to be 44% contained.

Crook County, Wyoming lifted all evacuations for Fish Fire residents as of 8 a.m. Friday, although the forest remains under an area closure.

According to a news release from the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team, fire activity was minimal over the last 24 hours with no growth. Crews were able to work on the fire-line construction and detected spot fires in Divisions K and T. Fire containment increased to 44% in Divisions K and M.

The Fish Fire spanned 6,668 acres. There are 497 total personnel fighting the fire. It was originally reported July 31.

Crews will continue to fight the fire Friday with higher humidity and cooler temperatures. Crews will focus on Division T where the majority of fire activity and heat have been.

Recently detected spot fires and places where the fire moved across the established fire-line will be worked again. On other sections, crews will continue building and strengthening fire-lines aided by bulldozers and helicopters and will also patrol contained sections of line.

In the coming days, once firefighters are able to secure existing fire-lines and connect them together, containment will continue to rise.

On Thursday, containment was added in Division K connecting with the existing contained line to the south. Work continued on the spot fire and firefighters are confident the spot will remain in its current footprint. On Friday, firefighters proceeded with construction of the line directly on the fire edge and maintaining secured lines. No additional firing operations are anticipated.

Division M also increased containment across the top and to the northeast corner. Fire hoses were laid out and plumbed to allow for mop up and extinguishing of heat sources. Firefighters will be supported with continuous water allowing for more thorough mop up and dousing of hot spots that threaten fire-lines.

Division T had heavy fuels near the line and steep slopes Thursday. This resulted in firefighters continuing to find small "slop overs" that required extra care to secure. Conditions still allowed for directs attack operations, which will continue.

Division A was patrolled Thursday and remained stable along the contained section. Resources continued with direct attack, building containment line to the north and augmented resources in the adjoining division. Firefighting tactics remained the same Friday.

Fire managers developed and began to implement strategies over the last several days, including ordering a chipper and box truck to remove vegetation cut during fire-line construction and structure protection operations. Chipped materials can be spread out and used to reduce erosion by catching and slowing water runoff where needed. Friday's work was an expansion of efforts over the last few days.

An area closure is in place for the Fish Fire on Black Hills National Forest.

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