Wildfires Abound in Wyoming and Colorado
Hot temperatures, strong winds, dry conditions have plagued the area, and fires continue to rise throughout Wyoming and Colorado, with a half dozen significant wildfires in the two states.
In Colorado, the headline blaze is the Waldo Canyon Fire, which has grown exponentially thanks to strong and shifting winds in the Colorado Springs area, forcing the evacuations of over 32,000, including all summer inhabitants of the Air Force Academy. Early estimates suggest that dozens of houses have been destroyed by the fire, now 24 square miles.
In Boulder, nearly 30 households have been evacuated after a wildfire erupted Tuesday afternoon due to a barrage of lightning strikes from a passing storm, and near Loveland, the 136-square mile High Park Fire is still less than 50% contained after destroying more than 250 homes, and killing one woman.
In Wyoming, the Fontennelle Fire, burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest has grown to approximately 12,000 acres, forcing the closure of area trails and roads and a wind-driven grass fire in Johnson and Sheridan counties yesterday quickly grew to 15,000 acres, while forcing the evacuation of about 30 ranch homes.
Good news on the Wyoming front today though, fire lines at the Russell’s Camp have held strong despite wind gusts exceeding 50 mph Tuesday and Wednesday. Officials say they have 50% containment of that 8 square mile fire.
Also in Wyoming, the Game and Fish Department has effectively banned open fires on all lands it administers in southeastern and central parts of the state. Most of southern Wyoming remains in a red flag warning.