The following was sent to Wyo4News from Sweetwater County Fire Warden Mike Bournazian on the Badger Creek Fire that is burning just south of Laramie.
Current Situation: The Badger Creek Fire grew significantly on Wednesday. Most of the fire’s growth was on the east side of the fire as it was driven by winds into dense vegetation. Intense fire behavior and thick smoke made it unsafe for firefighters and aviation resources to take suppression action on the east side of the fire throughout much of the day. Firefighters focused on protecting structures and other values at risk, as well as building line around the fire where it was safe to do so. While there is still no containment of the fire, crews have been successful in building a line around portions of the west, south and north sides of the fire.
About 300 people attending the Badger Fire public meeting on Wednesday night. Fire officials provided a fire update and addressed questions and concerns from the public. The meeting was recorded and posted on the incident Facebook page.
Firefighting priorities for Thursday continue to focus on strategies where the firefighters can be successful protecting structures and other values at risk; where they can safely do so. The fire is currently 11,021 acres with no containment. On Thursday, crews will continue to build fireline on the north side of the fire; at times using fire to bring the fire’s edge to control features. To the south, firefighters will construct both hand and dozer line to limit fire spread. On the east side of the fire, crews plan to assess and mitigate risk to structures along the Hwy 10 corridor. Aviation resources will continue to assist firefighters by slowing the fire’s spread and extinguish hot spots.
Weather: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Badger Creek Fire area from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
A slight shift in the weather pattern is expected to result in stronger west-southwest winds in the fire area. Gusts are expected to be in excess of 30 mph on Thursday afternoon. Conditions will remain hot, dry and windy, however, a slight increase in moisture in the afternoon should result in increased cloud cover.
Closures and Public Safety: The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Laramie Ranger District has enacted an emergency closure in the vicinity of the Badger Creek Fire to ensure the protection of the public and fire. The closure order is posted on the Forest’s website and InciWeb.
Albany County Officials have issued evacuation orders for the communities of Foxpark, Mountain Home, Wold Tract, Wyocolo, 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.
Several road closures remain in place due to the ongoing Badger Creek Fire. WYO 230 remains closed between Woods Landing and the Colorado state line. WYO 10 is also now closed from Woods Landing to the Colorado state line. In Colorado, Colorado Highway 127 is closed from the Colorado 125 junction to the Wyoming state line (except for local traffic).
Albany County requests those who have been evacuated to email firstname.lastname@example.org with accurate contact information.
Tip Line: The cause of the Badger Creek Fire is under investigation. The public is asked to call 307-745-2392 (select option 5, and leave a detailed message) with any information on the activity they may have seen near Forest Service Roads 501 and 544D in the area of the Mountain Home OHV Trail system on the afternoon of Sunday, June 10.
For More Information:
Fire Info Line: (307) 745-2378
Badger Creek Fire Statistics:
Start Date: June 10
Location:2 miles NW of Mountain Home, WY
Percent Contained: 0%