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Hot, Dry Weather Spurs Wildfire Growth in Southern Wyoming

Smoke, wildfire

The Broadway, Beaver Creek and Snake Fires all saw significant growth over the weekend as winds and temperatures picked up across the region.

The Snake Fire was first reported Saturday evening. First reported at 200 acres Sunday afternoon, it rapidly grew to 2,000 acres just a few hours later.

Aaron Voos of the U.S. Forest Service says the Snake Fire is burning in an area of mixed fuels, with timber less dense than that in the Broadway and Beaver Creek fire areas. That may give firefighters a chance to engage the Snake Fire directly — an approach simply too dangerous to employ on the other fires.

The Broadway Fire was last reported at 1,614 acres in size with 7 percent containment. It made sustained runs to the northeast on Sunday, putting up a significant amount of smoke. No structures or other values were threatened, according to fire managers.

Currently assigned to the Broadway Fire are 37 firefighters including one engine, a dozer and two water tenders.

All firefighters were removed from the fire area Sunday afternoon as part of a safety plan based on expected fire behavior. In a sign of some success, the blaze did not move west of Forest Road 496 — timber and other fuels along the road were previously removed by logging and careful burnouts.

Firefighters were set Monday to continue extending the defensive line along Forest Road 496 to the south. The Broadway Fire was started by lightning Aug. 14 and continues to burn roughly 11 miles south of Encampment.

The Beaver Creek Fire was last reported at 38,264 acres in size with 68 percent containment. Nine engines, a dozer, one crew, four helicopters and two water tenders are all part of the full suppression effort that currently includes 171 firefighters.

The blaze contributed to hazy skies across much of the region over the weekend as fire activity increased on the southwestern perimeter in Colorado. Additional smoke arose as ‘islands’ of unburned fuels were consumed on the fire interior.

Flames remained inside control lines, and no structures or other values were at risk.

Firefighters on Monday will continue to monitor the blaze, bolster fire lines and make any other repairs necessary.

The Beaver Creek Fire was first reported June 19 and continues to burn 24 miles north of Walden, Colo.

Fire managers expect both fires to burn into the second half of October, with snowfall likely presenting the best chance of extinguishing both fires.

Read About Wyoming's Newest Wildfire

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