Wyoming Wildfires Have Burned About 100 Square Miles This Summer
A dozen wildfires monitored by the U.S. Forest Service have burned about 100 square miles of public lands in Wyoming so far this summer, according to its website InciWeb.
The figures often do not include the burned-over areas private lands that are affected by the these fires, nor do they take into account the Beaver Creek fire that began in northern Colorado and spread into Wyoming.
Half the fires are either fully contained or more than 90 percent contained, according to InciWeb.
Densely wooded and hilly areas, high temperatures, low humidity, wind and storm activity have dogged much of the firefighting efforts throughout the state.
The U.S. Forest Service counts more than 2,400 firefighters working on the blazes, and they include local, state and federal personnel.
Of those firefighters, more than 40 percent, or 1,045, have been deployed to the Lava Mountain Fire, which started July 11 about 20 miles northwest of Dubois and has burned more than 13,000 acres. This fire is about 40 percent contained.
The Lava Mountain Fire has cost about $13 million so far to combat. This was the only fire that mentioned the cost in the InciWeb reports.
The next highest number of firefighters, 686, have been deployed to the Cliff Creek Fire, which was first detected July 17 five miles north of Bondurant. The fire, which has burned over 29,000 acres or 45 square miles in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, is 81 percent contained.
And in Uinta County the Tokewanna Fire, 490 firefighters have been deployed. This fire was first detected on private land 15 miles south of Mountain View on Thursday.
While it has burned a small area compared to some of the other fires -- 1313 acres or slightly more than two square miles -- it has forced the evacuation of 140 structures, eight of which have been destroyed.
Some of those residents have been allowed to return to their homes, according to a news release from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Of the total area of the Tokewanna Fire, 27 percent is on land administered by the BLM and 1 percent is on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The rest is private land.
The weather and other conditions can result in quickly evolving situations, such as the Sawmill Fire that was listed Monday afternoon.
The Sawmill Fire is on private land about 20 miles south of Douglas. It probably started by lightning on Friday or Saturday, and has grown to 35 acres as of Monday afternoon.
InciWeb does not list the number of firefighters, but it listed equipment: seven engines, one initial attack crew, and two helicopters.