The Lake Owen forest fire, in the Medicine Bow National Forest area, is now 80% contained the U.S. Forest service reports.
The fire covers approximately 500 acres and has caused the evacuation of nearby campers. Residents along Fox Creek Road and in Woods Landing, Jelm, and Albany are still being urged to shelter in place. Three heavy air tankers and 150 personnel are currently working on the fire.
Favorable weather conditions on Tuesday helped firefighters secure much of the blaze, and today crews expect to continue securing the line as well as assessing spot fires.
Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta has drifted down into Montana and Wyoming in recent days.
"The smoke has worked pretty hard to reduce visibility in the last couple of days," says Kelly a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Riverton. "It’s not having a whole lot of effects otherwise in terms of particulates in the air or other health effects because the smoke is coming from so far away.”
A new wildfire has started in Yellowstone National Park but officials report no issues with any of the fires burning in the park.
Storms on Thursday brought rain to the Alum (AL'-um) Fire burning about 5 miles northwest of Fishing Bridge Junction. However, the storms also were accompanied by lightning that started at least one new fire about a mile away.
The National Park Service says more than 700 lightning strikes occurred in the park Thursday afternoon so additional fire starts are expected. Dry, warmer weather also is expected this weekend.
There are three fires burning across Wyoming today. Near Sinks Canyon in Freemont County, in The Hard Luck area of the Washakie Wilderness and in the western Battle Creek area of area of Medicine Bow national forest. The fire near Hard Luck was discovered by reconnaissance planes on Saturday and the most recent fire, burning near Battle Creek picked up Monday.
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.
We’re joined now by Tom Ryder with the Game and Fish Department. He’s here to talk about the how wildlife are affected by the wildfires that have burned this season. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden that, when fires break out, some animals tend to suffer, while others actually benefit in the long run.
A wildfire near Wheatland in the Medicine Bow National Forest has grown to around a thousand acres. High winds and terrain in the area have hampered firefighters in their efforts to contain it and they can’t come face to face with the blaze. Because of this Forest Service Spokesman Aaron Voos said they are taking a different approach in dealing with it.