evacuate

A wildfire is threatening some summer homes and campgrounds southwest of Lander.

The homes in Homestead Park and campers in Sinks Canyon were evacuated today as the Fairfield Fire spread in hot and windy conditions in grass and sagebrush. Forest Service spokeswoman Kristie Salzman said about 50 structures were threatened but it's not clear how many of them are homes and how many were occupied.

The area is a very popular spot in the summer, attracting rock climbers, mountain bikers and hikers.

The Arapaho fire near Wheatland is the second highest priority fire in the Rocky Mountain Region as of today. It’s burned nearly 88,000 acres and has forced 300 homes to be evacuated.

Public Information Officer Jim Whittington says erratic winds have pushed the fire in multiple directions, and he says it spread fast.

“The first day it was at 5,000 acres and then a couple days later it was at 75,000 acres. You’re talking 25, 30 thousand acres a day,” Whittington said. “This fire still has a lot of potential, and it obviously grew very fast, very quickly.”

A fire near Woods Landing in southeast Wyoming has burned 7,000 acres, and hundreds of residents are being asked to evacuate.

The fire has more than tripled in size since this morning. Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley says fire officials tell him they’ve never seen fires spread this fast.

“The moisture level is such that it’s low enough that even green grass burns like dry grass," O'Malley said. "In some situations, the fire has moved as fast as five miles in one hour.”