Firefighters have made significant progress on the wildfire that forced the evacuation of a handful of communities in southern Wyoming.

Fire crews on Tuesday will continue to patrol the fire perimeter while reconnaissance flights search for hot spots from above. Heavy equipment and crews in the contingency group are close to completing fire contingency lines along Roads 500 and 507.

The contingency lines are important, as Medicine Bow National Forest Supervisor Dennis Jaeger explained in a news release Tuesday morning.

"We need to remember how this fire burned the first three days. It still has that potential," Jaeger said. "We're going to be diligent and focused. Firefighters are still actively engaged, and should the fire rise up, the contingency lines are going to be used to protect the nearby communities."

The fire, burning some seven miles west of Albany, has left the communities of Moore's Gulch, Keystone, lower Keystone and scattered homes within the U.S. Forest Service closure area inaccessible. Camping closures are also in place, affecting the Rob Roy Campground, dispersed campers near Rob Roy, Cinnabar Park and Bobbie Thomson.

Lightning sparked the blaze just over three weeks ago. It grew quickly, tripling in size in one night. At that point, 150 firefighting personnel were working the blaze; that number has dropped off significantly, and now stands at 94.

As crews made progress containing the fire and establishing contingency lines, fire managers will continue to look at modifying closure orders.

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