GARDINER — Crews continue to fight a wildfire, burning about three miles west of the Yellowstone River up Cinnabar Basin.
Cinnabar Basin is in the Gardiner Basin, about 10 miles north of Gardiner. The Custer-Gallatin National Forest Service says the Cottonwood Fire was 15-20 acres Thursday night.
Firefighters made good progress overnight on the Cottonwood Fire. The fire did not grow and remains at about 20 acres Friday morning. The fire is burning about 3 miles up Cinnabar Basin from the Yellowstone River and Highway 89 and is about one mile south/southeast of Yankee Jim Lakes and Sphinx Mountain near Cottonwood Creek.
Fire officials are reminding residents not to fly drones in the fire area. That can ground aircrews trying to fight the blaze.
A 20-person Type 2 crew from Missoula and additional support from the Helena-Lewis and Cark National Forest are in route. Aircraft support is available today if needed. Firefighters will continue securing the fire perimeter and extinguishing hot spots inside the fire edge.
“Thank you to our partners for helping respond to the fire,” said Mike Thom, Gardiner District Ranger. “In particular, thank you to Park County Sheriff and Gateway Hose for supporting firefighting efforts.”
No closures are anticipated at this time unless fire activity picks up.
The warming and drying weather trend continues, fire officials say. Highs today in the fire area are expected in the mid-70s. The fire is burning in grass, sagebrush, and timber.
No structures are threatened at this time, the nearest private property is about 2/3 of a mile away.
PHOTO COURTESY MIKE HUBBARD