fire

Western Wyoming Fire Prevention and Education Team

A campaign led by the Western Wyoming Fire Prevention and Education Team is working to remind residents and tourists of things they can do to prepare for wildfires. The team is a joint effort of the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Wyoming’s Forestry Division, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

U.S. FOREST SERVICE-BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST FACEBOOK PAGE

The Cliff Creek Fire north of Bondurant in Sublette County has increased to 21,483 acres. Almost 700 firefighters are fighting the blaze on the ground, in the air, as well as with some controlled burning. Crews have been working to protect about 23 summer homes and the Granite Creek drainage area.

National Wildlife Coordinating Group

Two hundred and fifty additional homes are being evacuated because of the spreading Lava Mountain Fire in Fremont County.

The Western Montana Fire Incident Management Team issued new evacuation orders Monday for residents and campers in the Union Pass, Porcupine, Hat Butte and Warm Springs areas. Firefighters have been preparing homes and structures in the area in the event the blaze did spread.

“(Firefighters) have really gone through a lot of effort and done everything possible to prepare for this potential,” said spokeswoman Hailey Graf.

National Interagency Fire Center

Teton County health officials are warning people living in communities near wildfires about lower air quality.

Wildfire smoke has particles in it from burning material that when inhaled can be harmful on the body, especially during exercise. These particles can irritate an individual’s eyes, lungs and throat.

“You know, it’s not a good time when it’s really smoky out to go run to the top of the mountain,” Rachael Wheeler of Teton County Public Health said. “You don’t really want to aggravate your body when the air isn’t clean.”

U.S. Forest Service-Bridger-Teton National Forest Facebook Page

Bondurant residents who were evacuated due to the Cliff Creek Fire have been allowed to return home, although some residents in the Granite Creek area remained displaced as firefighters are still working to prevent damage to about 30 structures in that area.

Some Granite Creek Residents were escorted to their homes to collect valuables and perishables.

BLM Wyoming

New fire restrictions for public lands in Sheridan, Johnson, and Campbell counties will go into effect Friday. Those counties been dry and hot in recent weeks, and lightning strikes have caused two fires in the area.

The new Bureau of Land Management restrictions will prohibit things like building fires outside of designated fire grates and smoking on public lands. 

InciWeb

A fire near Sundance that burned one home and several outbuildings is now 75 percent contained and an evacuation order for the area has been lifted. 

A lightning strike ignited the Kara Creek Fire on Friday, and strong winds over the weekend propelled its growth to more than 12,000 acres.

Smoke from the fire briefly shut down I-90 on Saturday, as crews built a fire break. In a statement, the fire incident commander said there has been an outpouring of support from nearby communities.

Kari Greer, National Interagency Fire Center

Dry winds and a lack of rain kept the Beaver Creek fire burning hot over the weekend. The blaze is located in Colorado two miles south of the Wyoming border. It’s now grown to over 6200 acres and the local sheriff’s office says two outbuildings have been consumed in the flames.

While no homes have been lost, about 60 cabins are still in the fire’s path. Firefighters have been using sprinklers and other prevention methods to prepare the buildings in case the fire moves closer.

the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue

The Beaver Creek fire in the Routt National Forest has grown to more than 5,300 acres and 40 homes are now threatened by the blaze in Northern Colorado, just two miles south of the Wyoming-Colorado border.

Michelle Kelly, Public Information Officer with the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue, said containment has been difficult because of windy conditions and beetle kill trees.

Wyoming Fire Danger Is Low

May 23, 2016
U.S. Forest Service

This week federal officials said that a dry spring has them concerned that there could be a serious summer fire season in the western United States. Of course, few of us in Wyoming understand what a dry spring looks like. Bill Crapser is Wyoming’s state forester. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or ATF, announced a $10,000 reward for information about the Roberts Mission fire in Fremont County. The fire was reported on March 17th at 5am at the Roberts Mission - a historic parochial school.

ATF has determined that it was human caused, but they can't tell if it was intentional. The building was old and not structurally sound, so investigators had to remove most of the remaining walls for safety. However, the foundation and some of the more recent additions remain. The bricks have been saved for possible rebuilding later on.

Wyoming Highway Patrol

State Forester Bill Crapser said that between 15 to 20 structures have been lost in a grass fire that burned some 15 square miles north of Casper. 

Crapser is blaming warm and dry conditions for the fire that he says is unusual for this time of year.  Hundreds of residents had been evacuated. When they return to their homes Red Cross spokeswoman Pat Kondas said they will need more than food and water.

Wyoming Highway Patrol

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.

Crews managed to extinguish a fire at a Chesapeake Energy well site near Douglas after it burned for more than a week.

The fire started Sunday, September 6 and quickly spread to all six wells on the site. Chesapeake brought in Boots and Coots, a firm that specializes in well control, to fight the fire and cap the wells. The final well was capped on Tuesday.

While the fire was burning, some residents of Douglas reported an oily residue coating houses and cars. The company Chesapeake contracted to monitor air quality says the residue doesn’t pose a public health threat.

A fire continues to burn at an oil well site near Douglas after a well blow out on Sunday.

The Combs Ranch 29 Chesapeake Oil facility is located about three miles north east of Douglas. After what the company is calling a "well control event" Sunday afternoon, towering flames and plumes of smoke shot into the air.

Chesapeake has brought in well control specialists Boots and Coots to fight the blaze. 

A spokesman for Chesapeake says the company is monitoring air quality at the site and current readings suggest no risk to public health and the environment.

Smith’s Food and Drug Store in Jackson honored firefighters who helped save the store from a propane fire last November.

Jackson Hole Fire put out the blaze which started inside at propane store and was spreading towards an eleven-thousand gallon propane tanker.

More than fifty firefighters were on the scene. Smith’s Grocery Store is donating $5,000 of gift-cards to the Department and  hosted a dinner Thursday.

Kathy Clay is the Jackson Hole Fire Marshall and says the Grocery Store wasn’t the only business in harm’s way.

county10.com

After a fire destroyed multiple buildings and businesses in downtown Dubois last Tuesday, town residents set up a fundraising page to help those affected.

The money is being raised through the crowd funding website “Go Fund Me.” The organizers are planning to turn over the money to the local non-profit Needs of Dubois, which helps residents financially in times of crisis.

Ellen Jungck  is the president of “Needs of Dubois.” She says the organization will use the money to help pay for things like food, utility bills, and rent bills for victims of the fire.

County10.com

Three historic buildings and eight businesses were destroyed in an overnight fire in Dubois. Town Clerk Sandy Hurst says the fire started at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night and was under control around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

Firefighters from Dubois and the surrounding area had to battle temperatures around 25 below zero. Hurst says federal officials will help determine what caused the fire.

madpoet_one via Flickr

The Bureau of Land Management has announced it will be lighting controlled burns in Southwest Wyoming. The target area includes more than 7,000 acres around Iron Mountain, Middle Canyon, and Montgomery pasture. Spokesperson Shelley Gregory says the controlled burn should actually make the area less prone to wild fires.

“A lot of areas are in need of burns because natural fires have not come through there in a while to maintain the balance. And so the BLM is just going in to restore that balance.”

Fire crews are responding to reports of a forest fire burning in the Southern Snowy Range area near Lake Owen.

Aaron Voos with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest says little is known at the moment, but many members of the public called to report smoke in the area.

“We’re just trying to figure out an exact location and do a size-up on it," said Voos. "We do have both County and Forest Service crews that are en route as well as a type 3 helicopter.”

A fire burned for more than six hours at the Sinclair Oil refinery in south-central Wyoming.

Officials with Salt Lake City-based Sinclair say nobody was hurt.

The fire started around 3:30 a.m. Friday in the plant's alkylation unit. The refinery's fire department extinguished the flames around 10 a.m.

The company said in a release it had notified Wyoming workplace safety regulators and begun an investigation. The refinery continued to operate at normal rates.

In 2012, three fires injured seven workers at the refinery in the town of Sinclair.

Five workers were injured in a fire that broke out around 10:15 Friday morning at an Encana facility in the Jonah Field near Pinedale.

“We do know that some welding work was being conducted on some condensate tanks," company spokesperson Doug Hock says. "This was a battery of half a dozen tanks. However, the exact reason for the fire is not known at this time.”

Charles Willgren / Wikipedia

An explosion at the Sinclair Refinery near Rawlins on Friday night resulted in a fire.

The explosion occurred around 10 p.m. on Friday. No one was injured, and by 3 a.m. the fire was under control. The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is investigating the incident. The cause is still unknown.

NASA

Three miners are being treated for serious burns after a coal-dust fire at the North Antelope Rochelle mine on Tuesday.

The fire started while the workers were changing a bearing on a conveyor, according to Amy Louviere, a spokesperson for the Mine Safety and Health Administration. She writes in an email that coal dust filled the space the workers were in, and was ignited by the machinery. The agency is investigating.

Two hospitalized after Sinclair refinery fire

Jul 31, 2013

Two people were taken to the hospital after a fire started at the Sinclair Refinery near Rawlins yesterday.

John Ysebaert with Wyoming’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA, says the fire started when workers who were erecting scaffolding tripped a valve. That released so-called “super-heated diesel,” which ignites when it hits the atmosphere.

OSHA is investigating the incident.

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.

Conditions are favorable for firefighters trying to corral one of Wyoming's first significant wildfires this year.

The 300-acre wildfire is burning in a remote area 15 miles southeast of Casper, not far from Muddy Mountain. Lighting is believed to have started the fire sometime last weekend.

The fire has burned about 300 acres of mixed pine, grass and sagebrush.

Wyoming fire officials say the wet spring this year has been helpful, but they’re still unsure what it will mean for the fire season this year. 

Wyoming forest officials anticipate another heavy fire season for this year.

Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser says recent warm winters have been great for the pine beetle population. He adds that Wyoming pine forests are full of densely-packed stands with trees of the same age, which makes them especially vulnerable to beetles, and that makes them more likely to burn.

Slash piles around the state are still intact in Wyoming, which is unusual. Slash piles are made of accumulated debris from clearing forests or trimming trees and typically by this time in the year, they’ve been burned.

The Fire Management Officer for the Wyoming State Forestry Division, Ron Graham, says they’ve started burning piles in the Casper Mountain, Muddy Mountain, and Black Hills area, but low snow pack has delayed the burning.

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