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Stand 2 - Trail Ridge

The shift change began along this ridge during the late morning of August 21st. Smoke was hanging in the drainage, and the fire was backing down the North side of Trail Ridge. The Tensleep CCC relieved the Wapiti CCC Crew. The Ten Sleep CCC crew had been expected to arrive about 0800 to the base camp but didn't arrive until 1200. The BPR crew and Yellowstone CCC continued to work. Supervision of the suppression activities was transferred from Forest Supervisor Sieker and District Ranger Charlie Fifield to District Rangers Urban J. Post and Alfred G. Clayton. Deputy Forest Supervisor Carl Krueger continued to fly air patrol and report the fire's status.

Mr. Krueger reported several spot fires near the fireline at 1240. These spot fires were suppressed as the line was constructed. Krueger didn't identify any spots in the vicinity where the blowup originated. The strategy and tactics were that Ranger Post would take the lead with assistance from Jr. Forester Paul Tyrrell. Ranger Clayton followed to improve the line and catch any new spot fires. As Post and crew hiked the ridge to start work, he was on the lookout for spots over the line and into the next basin. At that time, no spot fires were seen below [see map 2]. They were unaware that the relative humidity dropped to 6% with a temperature of 90 down at camp or that a "spot" was in the bottom 1/3 of a mile below them; they didn't anticipate afternoon winds. Click to see Map B.

Note: During the 2003 fire season, the Shoshone National Forest experienced the worst fire season on record with 5 large fires and 50 total starts. Blackwater burned again in 2003. Click to see Map C.

Looking down from the trail into the area where the Blackwater Fire originated from a lightning struck tree.

First distinct switchback in the trail is the suggested location established for Stand 2.

Areas of overlap between the 1937 and 2003 fires can be seen. Notice the older snags evident in the foreground and the recently burned terrain in the background.