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July 14, 2008

  Roger Alexander

More Wildland Fires Reported Near Rainbow Family Gathering

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that two fires were reported on Friday, July 11, on public lands near the Rainbow Family Gathering in the southern Wind River Range.

The Gathering VII Fire was reported to Teton Dispatch at about 4:34 pm. The fire was located north of Dutch Joe Creek near the Rainbow Gathering. Initial attack was conducted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), estimated at 1/10th of one acre in size. The fire was turned over to BLM on Friday evening when it was determined that the fire was located on BLM-administered public lands. While responding to the Gathering VII Fire, USFS and BLM personnel discovered an extinguished fire, known as the Gathering VIII Fire, on BLM-administered public lands. The Gathering VIII fire was estimated at 1/10th of one acre in size.

Resources assigned to the Gathering VII included a 20-person Type 1 crew (Snake River Hotshots) and a BLM Engine. No permanent structures are threatened, and there have been no injuries reported. The Gathering VII fire was contained a 6:09 pm. BLM and USFS crews will continue mop-up operations until the fire is out. This brings a total of nine wild land fires near the Rainbow Family Gathering since June 23. Six of these fires were on USFS lands and three on BLM lands.

Wild land fire investigations determined the fires to be human-caused. The Gathering VII and VIII Fires were near the Gathering II Fire, also located on BLM-administered public lands. A reward may be offered for information leading to the conviction of any person for setting the fires. Anyone having information regarding these fires should call 888-358-2310.

- BLM -