UPDATE: Badger Creek Fire Grows Rapidly, Communities Evacuated [Photos][Videos]
UPDATE: (10:30 p.m.) The Badger Creek Fire made a large, wind-driven run Monday in southern Albany County on the Medicine Bow National Forest, growing to 2,300 acres from 150 acres earlier in the day, according to a news release.
The fire burned from its origin to more than six miles to the north and east and prompted county officials to issue additional evacuation notices, according to Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland spokesman Aaron Voos.
Hot, dry, and windy conditions persisted throughout the afternoon.
By mid-afternoon, it had crossed Wyoming Highway 230 between Wold Tract and Mountain Home. The highway was closed from Woods Landing to the Colorado state line.
Accurate mapping of the fire size has proven difficult due to weather conditions and the rapid fire growth; however, the fire is now estimated to be 2,300 acres or about 3.6 square miles.
As of late Monday, there is no confirmation of structures burned or destroyed.
Air resources arrived to help the ground-based fire personnel with the Forest Service, Albany County, and Wyoming State Forestry Division. Two VLATS (very large air tankers) and four heavy air tankers provided structure protection for private property and residences, primarily in the Wold Tract community.
Two 20-person hand crews are in place as well, bringing the total to 70 personnel assigned to the fire.
They intend to fully suppress the fire by engaging in locations with the highest probability of success.
Due to the rapid growth of the fire and the emergency situation, efforts continue to be focused on evacuation, public safety, and fire assessment.
Albany County officials issued evacuation orders for the communities of Mountain Home, Wold Tract, WyoColo, Foxpark, 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.
The Forest Service also advised all dispersed campers near the fire area relocate to other areas of the forest.
Evacuees are being asked by Albany County to email firstname.lastname@example.org with accurate contact information so that consistent information sharing can be maintained.
The cause of the Fire is unknown and is under investigation.
The Laramie Ranger District established a tip line, and asked the public to call 307-745-2392 (select option #5 and leave a detailed message) with any information about what they may have seen Sunday afternoon near Forest Service Roads 501 and 544D in the area of the Mountain Home OHV Trail system.
Tuesday’s weather forecast is for continued hot, dry, windy conditions. The operational plan will be to continue to focus on public and firefighter safety, evacuations, assessments, and structure protection.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team was ordered Monday afternoon. The Rocky Mountain Region’s Black Team will assume command of fire operations on Wednesday.
Badger Creek Fire Information and updates are provided on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB, and on InciWeb.
UPDATE (3:40 p.m.) The fire is now estimated at 150 acres, according to InciWeb.
UPDATE (2 p.m.): According to the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland Twitter, the communities of Beehive, Gramm, & Miller Lake communities are being evacuated by Albany County officials. Forest Spokesman Aaron Voos said the fire is making a run to the east. Power has been cut to the area in cooperation with Carbon Power and Light.
(UPDATE): According to the Albany County Sheriff's Facebook page, Wyoming Highway 230 is now closed at Fox Park and no traffic will be allowed past that point.
The U.S. Forest Service and Albany County fire personnel responded to the Badger Creek Wildfire that began Sunday afternoon in the southern Snowy Range, Medicine Bow National Forest, which forced evacuations from multiple locations due to rapid growth.
As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the fire was roughly estimated at 100 acres and there is no containment. Forest Service Spokesman Aaron Voos said updates on acreage and containment will be available Monday afternoon. On Sunday, efforts were focused on evacuation, public safety and fire assessment.
At this time the cause of the fire is unknown, but the origin of the fire is near Forest Road 501, and between Badger Creek and the North Fork of Pelton Creek. The location is two miles north of the Wyoming/Colorado state line. Multiple communities and private property in-holdings are within a five mile radius of the fire.
The communities of Mountain Home, Wold Tract, and Wycolo are under evacuation orders from Albany County officials. Pre-evacuation orders are in place for Foxborough, Foxpark and Miller Lake and Voos said those communities should be prepared to evacuate if County officials ask them to.
Voos said people who have been evacuated cannot return to their properties to retrieve belongings, as officials need to know that the area is clear.
Evacuees are being asked to check in at the Harmony School off Wyoming Highway 230. Stables for evacuated horses are being offered by Albany County Fairgrounds or Glen w-Stonehouse Stables, according to the Forest Service.
Voos said Highway 230 remains open, however visibility could be obscured at times due to smoke. A number of Forest Roads in the area are closed, including Forest Roads 530, 544,501, 512 WA and the Mountain Home Trail System. Voos said residents can get the latest information on road closures by calling the Laramie Ranger District.