Wild Land Fire South of Casper
5:52 AM UPDATE: On Sunday, July 24th at approximately 05:24 P.M., the Natrona County Fire District (NCFD) was dispatched for the report of a wild land fire at mile marker 177 on Interstate 25 (I-25) in Natrona County.
A Reporting party stated that there was a grass fire that was spreading fast and starting to move to the north. Another reporting party called in and stated a vehicle was also on fire at mile marker 178 on I-25 and the fire was moving into the grass near it, according to a press release from the NCFD.
Multiple NCFD fire units responded to the scenes. Units from the following agencies assisted with all incidents: Public Safety Communications of Casper, Evansville Fire-EMS, Bar Nunn Fire Department, Casper Mountain Fire District, Bureau of Land Management - High Plains Fire District (dispatch and fire units), Casper Fire-EMS, Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Wyoming Department of Transportation, and Rocky Mountain Power.
Crews arrived onto both scenes and worked quickly to attack both fires. Brush trucks began fire suppression efforts on the wildland aspect for incident, and structure engines worked to put out the vehicle fire. Law enforcement assisted with traffic control on both incidents. The wild land fire at MP 177 was contained to 31 acres in size, and the fire at MP 178 was contained to 9 acres.
Evacuations were initiated for the Cow Hollow subdivision off the Old Glenrock Highway (East US HWY 20-26-87). NCSO Deputies worked to alert the subdivision and placed them in the “Ready” phase of the evacuation process. Once the fires were knocked down and contained, the evacuations were lifted.
Fire units on scene determined that the vehicle that caught fire at MP 178 was the start of the fire.
The driver of the vehicle stated that he was having mechanical issues while driving down the interstate when the engine caught fire. The driver stated he was then able to get the vehicle off the road at MP 178. At that time, the vehicle became fully engulfed and began to start the second wild land fire. The vehicle was destroyed, but the driver of the vehicle was not injured.
While crews were patrolling and mopping up hot spots on the interstate fires, another vehicle fire call was dispatched to units at 07:25 pm, in the area of Coal Creek Road and Opal Street. The reporting party stated a vehicle was on the side of the road and fully involved with fire. Fire units responded to the scene from the I-25 incidents; as well as additional units that were available for other calls to service.
The first arriving fire units reported that the vehicle was fully engulfed and was beginning to spread to grasses nearby. Firefighters were able to get a quick knockdown on the wildland aspect of the incident to prevent it from spreading any further and then began extinguishing the vehicle fire.
It was determined by fire units that the vehicle fire started due to mechanical issues. The driver stated that while he was driving home, the vehicle was not driving correctly and smoke began coming up from the hood. The vehicle then caught fire shortly after. The vehicle was destroyed; but the driver was uninjured.
The press release said, "All these incidents, yet again, show how well interagency cohesion worked with our mutual aid partners and agencies. NCFD would like to thank all units and resources that assisted in these fires. We would like to take this time to remind everyone to watch out for emergency vehicles that are responding to incidents and operating along the side of the road. We ask that you please slow down and move out of the way, to the best of your ability, when you see lights and hear sirens. Also, remain vigilant on your driving when passing emergency scenes, still slow down and move cautiously around the scene if you come upon one."
8:30 P.M. UPDATE:
The vehicle fire turned to wild land fires on I-25 and a separate vehicle fire on Cole Creek Road, according to Natrona County Fire District.
In a video shared by Stacie Slaughter-Gottsch, a stalled vehicle in the center lane northbound I-25 near milepost 178 depicts a car on fire as they drive by.
Will update when there is more information.