Fire Update: Horsethief fire slowed considerably

By on September 12, 2012

Fire Update: Horsethief fire slowed considerably – Photo Credit: Sargent Schutt

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – JH Weekly has confirmed the source of the wildfire that has now consumed more than 2,000 acres is linked to a residence at 4282 S. Little Horsethief Lane in Little Horsethief subdivision. A man at the residence belonging to James G. Anderson III was seen by several eye-witnesses burning refuse in a barrel behind his home just before the fire began. The identity of the person responsible for the burning is still not known but is believed to be Jim Anderson, 76.

A ban on open fires was in effect at the time so any person or persons creating a barrel fire could be charged with a misdemeanor. If the investigation, which is still ongoing, points to a particular person’s negligent actions, that person could also potentially be on the hook for the cost of fire suppression. The estimated expense to date of fighting the Horsethief Canyon Fire is $1.2 million.

Jackson residents once again awoke this morning to the drone of planes overhead. Firefighters were able to gain the upper hand on the blaze Tuesday as cooler weather conditions slowed the aggressive torching witnessed in the previous days. With the wildfire’s advance all but held in check to the north and northeast, additional efforts are being concentrated on the southeast flank to prevent the blaze from getting into Game Creek or reaching the highway.

Scheduled back-burns did not take place yesterday as planned. They may be attempted today. The latest acreage burned is listed at 2,638 acres.

A total of 300 personnel are assigned to the fire, though some may be reassigned to the Casper Mountain fire (officially named Sheep Herder Hill fire), which has burned more than 15,000 acres and destroyed seven structures with an additional 750 in danger. Todd Pechota’s Rocky Mountain Area Type 2B team is fighting that blaze.

Interagency fire engines should be arriving today or tomorrow allowing local fire station equipment to return to its normal duties. Additional ground crews are also on order and should be arriving soon for mop-up.

Teton County Emergency Management officials have reduced the area on evacuation preparedness notice.

Reader Comments

Incredible effort by the fire crew. So proud
Jim Wilson

Time to exact the toll Tea Partiers are clamoring to collect. Personal responsibility is the name of the game, and Anderson and his heirs should be prepared to pay for every last red cent of this operation. Any other conclusion simply makes him a welfare queen of another color. Irony is a bitch.

Can we not be nasty please? This was an accident. Poor choices are the root of most accidents. There was not a political agenda involved here, don’t make it one. Thank you to all the people involved in fighting this fire, and for doing such a great job!

The irony of using this as a political agenda/statement, is that obviously, some have no heart, compassion. Just irony. Thanks to those who volunteer make an effort, boo to those who mouth!

First of all, Bravo to all the people to have been tirelessly working day and night to protect us and ours. Secondly, I agree this was an accident, but he purposely started the fire when there was a red flag on burning. He should have to pay and be charged. By paying for our accidents and bad choices we learn lessons. My guess is he won’t do it again after footing the bill and/or serving jail time. And last and least, people need to stop turning every, last situation into a political statement.

How did this get to the tea party? Carl- really– do you have ALL the facts? Just more liberal diatribe same as right wing leaving the rest of us wondering how folks’ like you come to the conclusions you do– hell just say it- its george bushes fault— I can tell you this– its yet another argument for selective logging by private companies— Do any of you critics realize what the term accident or act of God mean? Shame on everyone of you that judge without all the facts—- Poor guy likely feels like shit- my prayers go to him and his family—
Common Sense

how about we string this dumbass up in the square like a pinata and take turns pounding his stupid ass with a broomstick. no mercy for cheapskate, garbage-burning imbecile hillbillies. schmuck.

This article and the leading Weekly Poll – “The Horsethief Canyon firestarter was incredibly careless, thoughtless, and reckless…..” should be in the opinion section rather than news. Paralipsis to sell ads is cheap and requires no talent.

Do backcountry skiers or climbers have to pay when SAE has to drag their asses out of bed on a -30 night and rescue them? Why are those folks not ridiculed and made the subject of a witch hunt? Is it because they’re not Tea Partiers (the most crude and outrageous meme so far!)

Mike this article is not opinion in any way. Perhaps the comments are … but the article is about as opinion-less and straight forward as it gets.
Mary G

Actually, this comment is opinion (or not reported with official confirmation): “The identity of the person responsible for the burning is still not known but is believed to be Jim Anderson, 76.”

Bingo, KB. A good reporter attributes EVERYTHING. “…believed to be”: by whom? This is not a proper attrubution. Authorities have released nothing and Jake didn’t even say it was an anonymous source who did not want to be identified. Although he probably took a peek at Jim Stanford’s blog. If this is the kind of reporting you like, go there.
Anonyholic II

Actually, this isn’t at ALL comparable to a back country skier or climber needing to be rescued. Rescuing someone takes very few resources in comparison to dealing with a thousands of acre fire. Very rarely is any public or private property damaged because of a rescue. And no one’s HOME is threatened or evacuated because someone skied in the backcountry. Jim Anderson needs to man up, admit that he is responsible for this mess, and offer to PAY for it all on his own. If he did that then I think people would be much more open to forgiving him, and much less inclined to call him a hypocrite for his Teabaggin’ political views.

EDIT – The letter released by the Andersons and published in the NaG could be a valid source for “believed to be” conclusions, however. Jake could have used that for cover. As much as y’all might hate to acknowledge the NaG. Just sayin’.
Anonyholic II

Mary, Love that you are working so hard to keep us up to date, but what does the headline on this one have to do with the primary info of the story. I don’t think you touch on the headline info anywhere in this story, much less in the first couple of paragraphs.

Sorry, J, but it IS comparable if you’re passing judgements on using tax payer money for such things. Maybe actual dollars are less, but search and rescue is still dangerous and expensive. Frankly, I resent when outdoors people engage in dangerous exploits, especially after ignoring warning signs for weather conditions or avalanches and such, then are killed or injured and cause others to potentially suffer the same fate in a rescue or recovery effort. By they way, Jim Anderson WILL have to pay, whether he offers or not, if he’s guilty of this. The question will be just how much does he have and how much can the courts get out of him. ‘course, we oughta charge HIM quadruple the final amount, the tea partyin’ SOB. Sheesh.
Anonyholic II

everyone has a right to be VERY angry at this fellow…Im not so sure that his name should have gotten out to the public…hope some crazy person doesnt harm him….let the courts to their job.this guy must be beating himself up with regret…

Reason #3 he should be in jail. Reason #1 is he STARTED A MASSIVE FOREST FIRE. #3, for the past three days, he’s been moving his money out of his name so its untouchable when the bill comes. Classic Tea Party personal responsibility.


@Matt from what I’ve heard, “poor guy” he is not.

I was on vacation in Jackson when the fire broke out. Part of my itinerary was cancelled due to the fire. I am a conservative from the liberal state of Maryland, and find it curious that politics finds it’s way into the conversation. I have to commend the firefighter on their diligent efforts to protect the town, and want to say that the alleged person or persons involved in starting the fire are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. And yes, the liberals will find some way to blame this on George Bush.
Bob M

Matt- Leave the poor guy alone? Are you kidding me?? This guy has started a fire that has cost over 2.8 million dollars to fight so far. He BLATANTLY broke the law; you break the law you pay the consequences. I will not feel sorry for his ignorant, catastrophic mistake. That’s ridiculous. Let’s call it what it is. If this fire was started by a low income, Mexican groundskeeper instead of a rich, old white Jacksonite; people would be saying different things. His political views are a whole another issue but the matter of it is- BE BROKE THE LAW. He must pay the price! It doesn’t matter if you’re from Jackson or not; I don’t understand why that even gets brought up. You are lucky to be born here; and I worked my ass off to get here. I think he should be at the next meeting and speak to all the people who have been affected by this disaster, especially East Jacksonites like myself. He needs to man up and take responsibility. And if he is a tea partier then this is EXACTLY what he believes in; personal responsibility. I am a nice person, and a good person at that but I CANNOT give slack to someone that has cause a fire that almost destroyed Jackson!

Sorry for the typos; finicky keyboard. Also, thanks again firefighters for keeping us and our town safe.

Where was all this self righteous indignation and clamor for financial restitution when Davey Hansen Float Trips started a fire a few years back that burned from the mouth of Bailey Creek in the Snake River Canyon half way to Bondurant? This was a much bigger fire that I’m sure cost much more to fight and burned far more acreage. That fire was started by the carelessness of a commercial interest doing business on public property. But I don’t remember any call for financial restitution from this commercial tourism interest who must have much more money than a private citizen who’s head on a stake is being called for by the angry mob. Do I sense a double standard here? Oh, and by the way Bob M, you obviously weren’t in Jackson long enough to realize that the fire wasn’t Bush’s fault, If you’re a rabid lib in Jackson Hole it was Dick Cheney’s fault.
Jordan Rivers

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