Wyoming Governor Activates National Guard Unit to Assist With Lava Mountain Fire
Governor Matt Mead ordered members of the Wyoming National Guard on standby Monday evening in preparation for possible medevac operations as the Lava Mountain Fire continues to burn through thick, dead, standing timber west of Dubois on the Shoshone National Forest.
The team on standby includes one Blackhawk helicopter and crew. They stand ready to respond should the need arise as more evacuations are ordered and firefighting efforts continue.
Evacuations were ordered for Union Pass, Porcupine, Warm Springs and Hat Butte on Monday. Evacuees were told to check in at the old school in Dubois.
Here is the full press release issued Monday evening from the Governor's office:
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead activated the National Guard to assist with the Lava Fire west of Dubois. The Lava Mountain Fire started in the Shoshone National Forest and the Forest Service has firefighting jurisdiction. Wyoming has taken an aggressive approach to fires across Wyoming and asked the Forest Service to do the same. The Forest Service elevated the fire from a Type 2 to a Type 1 fire bringing additional resources to bear. On Saturday, the fire moved onto private land which brings county and state coordination and resources. As the fire continues to burn the Union Pass area and Warm Springs subdivision are being evacuated.
“This has been a difficult year for fires in Wyoming. I have asked the State Forester, Bill Crapser, to take all necessary action to fight fires aggressively. We need to do all we can to make sure people are safe and damage to property is limited,” said Governor Mead. “I began meeting with the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service in the spring to talk about the importance of quick and effective fire suppression – I continue to be in contact with them. I thank them for their response as we work to stop the Lava Fire.”
The National Guard team includes a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and crew to be on standby for possible medevac support. The Governor is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to declare the fire meets the criteria for emergency financial assistance.