Public Asked to Avoid Pathfinder Reservoir Due to Wildfire
Boat ramps at Bishop's Point and Pathfinder Marina were closed Monday as crews prepare to use Pathfinder Reservoir to fight a new wildfire which tripled in size Sunday.
The Pedro Mountain Fire was initially reported at 500 acres in size Saturday, but that figure had tripled by Sunday afternoon as high temperatures and gusty winds spurred fire growth.
Natrona County Emergency Management on Monday asked the public to avoid using Pathfinder Reservoir for the time being so as not to interfere with firefighting efforts. Campgrounds in the area, however, remain open.
Investigator Taylor Courtney of the Natrona County Sheriff's Office told reporters Monday morning that a sheriff's boat will be on the water so deputies can keep the public off of the reservoir.
Two 'super scooper' aircraft -- Viking CL-415s -- landed at the Casper-Natrona County International Airport Saturday to fight the Pedro Mountain Fire. Each plane can carry over 1,600 gallons of water per load; the aircraft fill their tanks by flying over a lake and scooping water out of it.
The aircraft will fly at roughly 92 mph when scooping water from the reservoir. It takes some 12 seconds of scooping to fill their tanks, so they cover a significant distance while in contact with the surface of the lake.