squirrel creek fire

Irina Zhorov

HOST: The fire season came early to Wyoming this year. Usually, Wyoming doesn’t see its biggest fires until late July but already there have been 10 fires that have burned over 265-thousand acres of land. Wet weather and the efforts of thousands of firefighters have contained the larger blazes …So what happens after a fire? Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

Irina Zhorov: When the firefighters leave, the BAER team gets to work…

Larry Sandoval: It’s B-A-E-R, and it stand for Burned Area Emergency Response…

Irina Zhorov

Officials say the Squirrel Creek fire in Southeastern Wyoming was started by people. The ongoing investigation involves the Forest Service, Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, as well as the U-S Attorney’s office.

Forest Service spokesman, Aaron Voos, says it’s a criminal investigation that could carry significant repercussions if someone is convicted.

Irina Zhorov / Wyoming Public Media

Evacuations around the Squirrel Creek Fire near Laramie continued to expand north from Sheep Mountain to Lake Hattie on Tuesday. One house has been destroyed, but there are no numbers yet on how many more are threatened. 

Incident Commander Rocky Opliger says the fire’s proximity to residences as well as its erratic nature are keeping it the third priority fire in the nation.

Firefighters focus on protecting homes.

Jul 2, 2012

        Protecting homes and cabins is the focus for firefighters battling the Squirrel Creek fire in the Medicine Bow National forest near Woods Landing.  The fire has consumed more than 7000 acres and Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said it established itself on Sheep Mountain on Tuesday and had burned down towards Highway 230. 

He said residents on Fox Creek Road have been evacuated and protecting those homes and structures has been a point of emphasis.  But Voos adds that there are other areas of concern.