Plumes of smoke rise from the Hobble fire between Big Timber and Reed Point north of the Yellowstone River in this aerial view taken from 13,000 feet Sunday. The fire had grown to more than 30,000 acres.

imageFlames jump through the trees near I-90 just off mile marker 377 Sunday afternoon.

August 11, 2003

Hobble fire spreads to 30,000 acres
Erratic winds caused a wildfire near Big Timber to grow to an estimated 30,000 acres Sunday, according to fire officials.

The Hobble fire, also called the Diamond fire, was estimated at 10,000 acres late Saturday night but ballooned on Sunday. Fifty houses have been evacuated and are threatened. Several outbuildings have burned, but no homes have burned so far. The run the fire made Saturday has made it a top priority, and a Type 2 incident management team has been assigned to the fire and will take over today.

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August 12, 2003
imageHobble fire continues to burn out of control, damages power lines

REED POINT -- From where she stood Monday afternoon, JoAnne Morris could see her children's small corner of heaven go up in flames. "Oh, my gosh. That's got to be our land," Morris said as wind-whipped flames from the Hobble fire torched trees on a wooded hillside 2 miles away. "There are some huge ponderosa pines on that property," Morris said, holding her hands at shoulder width to approximate the size of the tree trunks.


Gee Gee Tool, from Reed Point, and Don Trees discuss their neighbors' safety as they watch the Hobble fire advance near Trees' property.

Sweetwater County Reserve Deputy Don Franklin mans the roadblock at the corner of Deadmans Canyon Road and Stephens Hill Road as a Northwestern Energy truck heads to repair power lines damaged by the Hobble fire.


Other rafters on the Yellowstone River, with their guide.

Sparkling waters of the Yellowstone River.


The Gang, enjoying the scenery along the way.

Herd of cows at the pump station.

Smoke in the distance as another fire erupts.

RICK! Hold on tight!

Deer drinking at the river's edge.

Kurt, forward row!

Dale and Kurt having a splashing good time.

Rick spooked up a deer along the river bank.

Enjoying that scenery.

Rick and Dale.

Smoke filled the sky, but the river breeze kept the air clear as we rafted along the Yellowstone.

A Blue Heron takes off in flight.

Ducks feeding along the river.

Captain Kurt and Dale paddle for the fast water.

Grebe (ducks) along the shore.

Proud Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle.

White Pelicans along the way...

Unique and a very close tree stump!

Dale tried out the water - it was very warm.

Pelicans in flight.

End of the trail....

Time to celebrate the adventures of the day's journey.

Boys Just Want to Have FUN!

Rick, Kurt, Dale and Kurt.


The evening's entertainment.

A fabulous dinner at the Hotel Montana Saloon.

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Fire Roundup Report ~~ Tuesday, August 19, 2003

1. Hobble -- Five miles north of Greycliff and east of Big Timber, on private ranchland.

Jumped fireline Saturday after crews had deemed it contained. Firefighters were recalled from other blazes. Four homes and 11 outbuildings lost. Fire grew to almost 39,000 acres. 15-20 homes evacuated. About 85 percent contained. Suppression costs $1.9million, 272 firefighters.

2. Gold 1 -- The fire grew to about 6,200 acres by Sunday southeast of Stevensville. About 305 people on the fire. Five percent contained. Suppression costs $1.7 million, 432 firefighters.

3. Robert -- Estimated at more than 42,967 acres. Park officials reopened Going-to-the-Sun Road on Sunday. Other park opening also in progress. About 735 firefighters assigned. Was 45 percent contained. Suppression costs $16.2 million, 735 firefighters.

Fire information continued ...

Perhaps the best way to beat the summer heat is another rafting trip down the Yellowstone River.
This time we floated from Springdale towards Big Timber.



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4. Crazy Horse -- Southwest of Condon, the blaze has grown to about 9,807 acres. Two-dozen homes, and a popular summer resort are evacuated. More than 300 more are on evacuation alert. There are 578 people on the fire. 15 percent contained. Suppression costs $2.2 million.

5. Wedge Canyon -- The fire, a few miles south of the Canadian border and about 20 miles east of Eureka, has burned 36 buildings, including seven houses. The fire was up to 40,586 acres by Sunday. Was 60 percent contained. Suppression costs $22.5 million, 590 firefighters.

6. Hopeful 2 -- Part of a complex near Lolo Pass in both Idaho and Montana, the blaze temporarily closed a 100-mile long stretch of U.S. 12 Saturday. Some evacuations ordered, including the Lolo Hot Springs. It has burned about 1,500 acres.

7. Dirty Ike -- Three miles northeast of Clinton has burned about 1,200 acres. Ninety percent contained. About 320 people are working on the fires, which has cost $1 million so far.

8. Black Mountain 2 -- More than 7,000 acres, burning nine miles west of Missoula. Saturday night, burned three houses on a nearly 6,000-acre run it made in two hours. About 130 mandatory home evacuations ordered, 120 more evacuations voluntary. Roughly 180 of those people returned to their homes Sunday. About 500 firefighters assigned. Suppression costs to date $575,000.

9. Cherry Creek -- About 10 miles southeast of Thompson Falls in Lolo National Forest. About 4,000 acres Sunday. About 60 percent contained. Evacuation alert for about 150 area homes remains in place. Fought by about 450 firefighters. Fire suppression costs have run about $3.2 million.

10. Boles Meadow fire -- Twenty-five miles northeast of Missoula, this almost 3,750-acre fire used to be park of a complex combined with the Mineral/Primm fire. Fifty-percent contained. There are roughly 728 people fighting the blaze. Suppression has cost $2.4 million so far.

11. Trapper Creek Complex -- On Flattop Mountain, a remote area north of Going-to-the-Sun Road in the north-central part of Glacier National Park and about 45 miles northeast of Kalispell. Estimated at 24,053 acres. Remained 65 percent contained. Suppression costs $3.4 million, 25 firefighters.

12. Mineral/Primm Complex -- Three fires in the Rattlesnake Wilderness north of Missoula estimated at 11,500 acres. Suppression costs $625,000, 348 firefighters.

13. Cooney Ridge complex -- Twenty miles southeast of Missoula in the Bitterroot Valley, burning in the Sapphire Mountains. Officials estimate that six fires have burned together at about 15,000 acres. Ten percent contained. About 570 people are fighting the fires. Several homes in the Miller Creek have been given an evacuation warning. Threatening a major Bonneville Power and NorthWestern power lines. Suppression costs to date 1.4 million.

14. Windmill Complex -- Located 28 miles east of Hardin on Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian reservations. Just over 16,000 acres and 30 percent contained. More than 400 people are assigned to the fire. Firefighting costs are estimated at $500,000

15. Lincoln Complex -- Two fires, the Moose-Wassan fire and the Snow-Talon fire, burning almost 6,000 acres. One fire is about 10 miles southwest of Lincoln, the other about 15 miles northeast of Lincoln. Limited evacuations in the Ogden Mountain Electronic sites area. Other evacuation warnings in the area. Thirty percent contained. Suppression costs $500,000, 400 firefighters.

16. Little Salmon Creek Complex -- Two fires in Bob Marshall Wilderness combined have burned 21,135 acres. Has burned one cabin. About 90 people working on the fire. A fire use team is assigned, meaning the team is not attempting to suppress the fire, just manage it. Suppression costs $1 million.

17. Strawberry Mountain -- 1,300 acres burning 27 miles south east of Missoula. About 250 firefighters on scene and 65 percent contained.

18. Winslow -- 8,150 acres burning five miles southwest of Lakeview. The fire is 10 percent contained, with 229 firefighters battling the blaze. About 40 homes are threatened and the cost of the fire to date is $787,000.

19. Rough Draw Complex -- About 2,000 acres burning 8 miles southeast of Livingston on the northern boundary of the Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness area. More than 500 firefighters on scene and cost $2.4 million so far.

20. Cathedral Peak -- 1,000 acre fire burning 10 miles south of Nye in steep heavily timbered area in the Beartooth-Absoroka Wilderness area.

21. Sheep Complex -- Burning 750 acres 28 miles north of Townsend. About 60 firefighters on scene and the fire is 40 percent contained.

22. Burnt Ridge -- About 600 acres burning south of Neihart. Ninety-one firefighters on scene and the fire is 6 percent contained.

23. East -- Has forced closure of Yellowstone National Park's East entrance and burned 14,000 acres as of Monday. Left a 12 mile stretch of U.S. 14-16 littered with burned trees. The fire is 12 percent contained, with 444 firefighters assigned and cost more than $1.1 million so far.

24. Norris -- 180 acres in Shoshone National Forest is 20 percent contained.

25. Clear Creek Complex --152 acres in Bridger-Teton National Forest 20 miles northeast of Pinedale

26. Cooper Mountain Declared controlled Monday morning. Burned about 2,500 acres before rain helped firefighters stop the blaze.

27. North Bighorn Complex -- 5,250 acres northwest of Sherian, Wyo., is 10 percent contained.

28. Craig 2 -- Was part of the Windmill Complex, estimated at 6,000 acres, burning east of Hardin.

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Labor Day Weekend 8/31/2003

Our treck along the Yellowstone River took us to Emigrant, MT.  We floated from Emigrant to Mallard's Rest.  This was a long trip - for a long weekend - so we stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast, The Wickiup! Lunch time along the Yellowstone found us enjoying brisket sandwiches.  Emigrant Mountain was a beautiful view.

The Upper Yellowstone is really beautiful with the Gallatin Mountains and the Wilderness areas surrounding you as you float.  The entrance to Yellowstone National Park is only minutes from here. 

Look closely at pictures 7, 8 & 9 to see the huge Bald Eagle.  He was so close to us as we floated the river, that we felt we should salute!

Great summer fun with Greg and Linda & Dick and Peg!

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