August 21, 2011 – Smoke on the Mountain

This evening, we had a storm system move through the area. The storm clouds came as far south into the Bighorn Basin as the Pryor Mountains, but the system brought high winds to much of the area. After the dark clouds had moved off of the Pryors, a plume of smoke could be seen on top of East Pryor Mountain. With the winds continuing, it didn’t take long to blow the smoke all over East Pryor. From down here at my house, it looked like the smoke was coming up from somewhere in the vicinity of Dryhead Vista. Now that it is dark, the glow of the fire can be seen in that general area still. What I couldn’t tell, though, is if the fire is on East Pryor itself or if it is in the areas north of the mountain (as was the case with the fire in the Pryors a few years ago). Following are some photographs I took tonight. The first is of the area the smoke was coming up out of while the second shows the smoke covering East Pryor (please click on this one to enlarge it).

I will keep my eyes and ears open for any information on this, and I’d appreciate if anyone else could post details they learn here too for everyone else to see.

Update 8/21/2011

Today I have learned more about the fire thanks to news from the Billings Field Office. It is on East Pryor Mountain in the area of Dryhead Vista, and it is relatively small. Firefighters are there trying to contain it. It sounds like the roads on the National Forest parts of East Pryor are closed due to the fire, so I’ll provide updates on the status of the roads as I learn more. We’ll just have to keep watching to see what the fire does; but based on what I have heard, I am not too worried about it.

Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. When exactly was the last fire. Wasn’t it very close to the time the previous roundup was getting underway? Or actually during the time the roundup was taking place?

  2. That’s not a good year for the horses.They are fenced in,had the worst winter,many horses died,few foals are born,they are planned for removal again,and now this.I remember Cloud’s 2nd movie.In 2002 there was a fire on the mountain but stopped just before to reach the mountaintop.I hope the horses are ok.If the fire is on the mountaintop they would escape but they pasture’d be burnt.
    P.S. I just want to help me identify the 2 horses with Seattle on this picture taken on 11 August this year.

    • I believe the one walking away is Hidatsa. Not sure about the other one. But I would like to know because I also have a picture of him from 7.13.11 but he wasn’t with Seattle at that time.

    • Hello,
      Interestingly enough, I believe that the horses in that photograph are Seattle, Sacajawea, and Kemmerer based on some conversations I had today. I’m looking forward to seeing for myself, I hope to get out this week after work.

      The 2002 fire didn’t make it too far across Crooked Creek Canyon, so it was kind of close to coming into the western parts of the Burnt Timber area. It is pretty interesting to see actually; the fire just literally stopped in places. Otherwise, the fire was pretty much just on Big Pryor.

      • That IS interesting. He was hanging with Hidatsa in July. Good for him if it is Sacajawea and Kemmerer. Keep us posted. Thanks!

    • I think less foals were born to the last roundup and the use of PZP. How did these horses get along before humans came along? Guess Mother Nature did her part.

  3. Woke up this morning and looked out my bedroom window…all seems quiet on the mountain this morning. There may be a faint haze, but certainly not the smoke or the pink glow from last night. I’m hoping that nature just took care of this one quickly!

  4. I just spoke with Jared (BLM) and the fire is north of the Range. It is at the heavy forest area near the Big Ice Cave. The Forest Service people are there doing what they can. I believe he said that the BLM was there also.
    One visitor who spent the night at Penn’s cabin said that the rain did slow the fire down a bit, but as I sit here at the Center I can still see smoke. Hopefully this will not spread to the WHR. They also flew a helicopter over, so I think they have a full picture of exactly how large the fire is.
    We will keep things posted as we find out any new information.

  5. Hi Matt, I am planning on going up the Mountain on Thursday. Please email or call me if you learn more about this fire. Thanks!

  6. Hey, have u seen jericho? I geard he is missing?

    • Yes, he and the rest of Cabaret/Fortunatas’ harem are missing. They were last seen during Jared’s spring survey flight.

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