The Longhorn Complex started on Thursday, July 19, 2012, and has been burning actively since then. This Complex initially started as four separate fires that have now burned into two fires. The Beads Creek Fire is estimated at 6,093 acres and The Longhorn Fire is estimated at 1,443 acres. Containment for this complex of fires is now at 21 percent. Lighting is the cause of both fires.
The Iron Shell Fire, which started burning at 2:40 pm this afternoon has forced the evacuation of 50 residences in the Spring Creek Community. Evacuation Centers have been opened at the St. Francis Community Center and the St. Francis Indian School Gymnasium. This fire is located in steep, rough terrain and is estimated at 300 acres. Three Heavy Air Tankers and one single engine air tanker (SEAT) are being used in the suppression of the fire.
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team C, a Type II Team, has assumed command of the Longhorn Complex Fire as of 6:00 p.m. Saturday, July 21, 2012. Incident Commander, Joe Lowe, stated at the nightly briefing, “We will continue to build on the successes of the local firefighters, they have done an excellent job with minimal resources.”
There is a chance of thunderstorms this evening, which may bring strong, gusty winds and could produce additional lightning. Firefighters will be working throughout the night, providing structure protection, patrolling the fire perimeter, and working to mop-up hot spots.
Road closures have been put in effect due to heavy smoke and safety concerns for firefighters and residents in the area. The following road closures are in effect:
- At the junction of BIA 1 and BIA 7
- At the junction of BIA 5 and BIA 7
- At the junction of BIA 3 and BIA 7
Residents should expect to see smoke for several days and are encouraged to use caution on roadways as visibility may be limited. Persons with asthma or other breathing difficulties are encouraged to stay indoors or temporarily leave the area until smoke diminishes.