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What Is the Size of the Sheep Herder Hill Fire?

Aerial Photos of the Sheep Herder Hill Fire atop Casper Mountain
Brian Weathers

The Sheep Herder Hill fire continues to gobble up forest and grass land on Casper Mountain.  But how big is this fire?  Here’s a quick and easy comparison.

Lets use some simple math to compare the size of the Sheep Herder Hill fire to the size for the city limits of Casper.  It’s pretty easy to estimate the size of the fire using a couple of quick calculations. But for the size of the city limits, I went to Wikipedia for that.

First we need to know the size of the City of Casper – and according to Wikipedia the city limits  of Casper encompass approximately 28.8 square miles.  Next we need to figure out how many square miles the Sheep Herder Hill fire has consumed.

Gallery: Aerial Photos of ‘Sheep Herder Hill’ Fire

The Tuesday morning report on the Sheep Herder Hill fire show the fire had consumed 15,284 Acres.

How big is an Acre?  Think of it like a football or soccer field.  This fire is almost the equivalent of 15,000 football fields in size.

 

Football vs Soccer vs Acre, wikipedia

The Green shows a American Football field, the Blue shading shows a regulation soccer field and the Red shows the comparative size of an acre of land.

Now we need to convert the acres that have burned into a square miles figure for side by side comparison.

It takes 640 acres make up a square mile.  Taking that into account we dividing the size of the fire (15,284) by 640 will give us the total square miles the fire has consumed.  At this point *15,284 / 640 = 23.88125 sq miles* or almost 24 square miles have been consumed by this fire.

Now remember that earlier we noted that the City of Casper has in it approximately 29 square miles and the rest is pretty simple. (This does not include the city space for Mills, Evansville or Bar Nunn.)

Google Maps / Inciweb.org

If the fire were burning inside the Casper city limits, it would have consumed all of the land inside the city with exception of most of Paradise Valley and the city dump.

According to the forestry experts at americanforests.org, its safe to estimate that there are approximately 450 trees per acre in a forest.  Granted, Casper Mountain has equal amounts of conifer, sage and grass mixed together in its make up, but take into account that we have 15,284 acres consumed at this point and – well – even if we cut the number in half (225 trees per acre), that’s a lot of trees that have burned and are now gone from our beautiful Wyoming forest!

Put down the calculator – the figures tell us that 3.5 million trees or more, have been potentially lost on Casper Mountain.

Of course this does not include the city space for Mills, Evansville or Bar Nunn.

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