Fire Crews Experience Busy 4th Of July In Sweetwater County

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Picture Courtesy of the Sweetwater County Fire Department.

According to Sweetwater County Fire Chief Mike Bournazian the fourth of July turned into the fifth for the Sweetwater County fire department, and several others, as crews fought wildfires well into sunrise this morning. The county experienced significant wild land fires after a rash of small ones that started shortly after dark.

 

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Around 11:00 pm the Sweetwater County Fire Department, along with the Rock Springs BLM, the Green River Fire Department assisted by the Wyoming State Forestry Division, responded to a rapidly growing wild fire on the Green River side of White Mountain above the tunnels of Interstate 80. The fire was estimated to be 5 to 10 acres in size.

While that fire was actively burning a second large fire was reported at Big Fire Hole on County Road 75. This fire was in extremely steep and rugged country with heavy sagebrush. Resources from Fire District 1, Rock Springs Fire Department, Rock Springs BLM, and the Sweetwater County Fire Department all worked together until sunrise this morning to contain the fire.

The BLM is remaining on scene to monitor the fire so that fresh crews can be brought in later today.

According to the Sweetwater County Fire Department, in all there were about 14 wildfires in the county, with all but one being started by fireworks.

Sweetwater County Fire Chief Mike Bournazian reported that county fire exhausted all of their resources and equipment last night battling these fires. “We are very limited in staffing and it doesn’t take more than a couple fires burning at the same time to fully deplete our resources, and rely on mutual aid, which was used extensively throughout the night from all the departments in the county.”

Due to the extensive hours fire crews had to work the Sweetwater County Fire Department will not be fully staffed today; only an on-call crew will be working. According to Bournazian, “Crew members will rest up today and prepare for the increase in temperatures and dryer fuels as the fire danger becomes very high by Saturday.”