The Badger Creek Fire made a large, wind-driven run Monday in southern Albany County on the Medicine Bow National Forest. From its’ origin the fire burned over six miles to the east and prompted county officials to issue additional evacuation notices.
Air resources arrived on scene Monday, helping the ground-based U.S. Forest Service, Albany County, and Wyoming State Forestry Division fire personnel. Two VLATS (very large air tankers) and four heavy air tankers provided structure protection for private property and residences, primarily in the Wold Tract community. Two twenty-person hand crews are in place as well. There are approximately 70 personnel assigned to the fire.
The overall strategy of personnel continues to be full suppression of the fire, by engaging in locations with the highest probability of success. Due to the rapid growth of the fire and the emergency situation, efforts continue to be focused on evacuation, public safety, and fire assessment.
Hot, dry, and windy conditions persisted throughout Monday afternoon, causing substantial fire growth. The fire moved both to the north and east. By mid-afternoon, it had crossed Wyoming Highway 230 between Wold Tract and Mountain Home. As a result, Highway 230 has been closed from Woods Landing to the Colorado state line.
Accurate mapping of the fire size has proven difficult due to weather conditions and the rapid fire growth; however, the fire is now estimated to be 2,300 acres. At this time, there is no confirmation of structures that have been burned or destroyed.
Albany County Officials have issued evacuation orders for the communities of Mountain Home, Wold Tract, WyoColo, Foxpark, Gramm, Beehive, Miller Lake, and the areas along Highway 10 from Woods Landing south to the Colorado state line. This includes Woods Landing, New Jelm, and Jelm. Pre-evacuation orders are in place for the community of Foxborough. It is advised by the Forest Service that all dispersed campers near the fire area relocate to other areas of the Forest.
Evacuees are being asked by Albany County to email firstname.lastname@example.org with accurate contact information so that consistent information sharing can be maintained.
The cause of the Fire is unknown and is under investigation. A “tip line” has been established by the Laramie Ranger District. The public is asked to call 307-745-2392 (select option #5 and leave a detailed message) with any information they may have seen on Sunday afternoon, June 10, near Forest Service Roads 501 and 544D in the area of the Mountain Home OHV Trail system.
Tuesday’s weather forecast is for continued hot, dry, windy conditions. The operational plan will be to continue to focus on public and firefighter safety, evacuations, assessments, and structure protection.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team was ordered Monday afternoon. The Rocky Mountain Region’s Black Team will assume command of fire operations on Wednesday.