Hundreds of residents near the Casper suburb of Evansville have been evacuated from their homes due to a grass fire. The blaze started at a landfill Saturday, but high winds have since caused the fire to spread to the surrounding area.
Bob Fawcett is the Fire Marshall for the Natrona County Fire Protection District. He says the department has called up much of its resources, between 80 and 100 people in aerial and ground units, to fight the fire, but the high winds that fanned the flames initially are also making it difficult to fight the fire.
"High winds have really been driving this fire, and that, initially, yesterday that was our biggest problem with the high winds. And then it calmed down last night and for a while this morning, and now the winds have picked back up again," says Fawcett.
Fawcett says so far around half of the 10-thousand acre fire has been contained.
The Red Cross has set up an Evacuation and Information Center at their building at 318 W. B St. in Casper. Pat Kondas with the Red Cross says many people may be staying with friends and relatives now, but that’s a short term solution.
"The people of Casper tend to take care of themselves. You know, they help each other and so people were staying with friends and relatives. But as their need increases we expect to see more people come in to the office," says Kondas.
Around 10 homes and several other structures have been destroyed. Cole Creek Road is closed, and the evacuation order for the Cole Creek area is still in effect. There’s no word yet on when it will be lifted.