La Bonte Canyon Fire Grows Slightly Over Weekend [PHOTOS]
The La Bonte Canyon Fire burning on the far north boundary of Albany County grew only slightly over the weekend.
Additional resources on Sunday greatly aided suppression efforts on the La Bonte Canyon Fire. Both ground crews and helicopters were added to the fight and the result was minimal fire growth on what could have been a challenging day due to windy weather.
The fire that is now 516 acres in size and 25% contained.
Aaron Voos, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, says the bucket drops from helicopter have been particularly helpful in the rough terrain.
“In portions of the fire, the fire is kind of smoldering and creeping down in boulders and underneath rock fields and such,” says Voos. “Because of that, we’re having a hard time getting crews right in on top of those hot spots. Sometimes when they flare up, it’s easier for helicopters to spot those and then take their load of water—with the assistance of crews on the ground—and put it directly on where those hot spots are.”
The State of Wyoming, local agencies, and the U.S. Forest Service have all committed resources to the fire. Four 20-person hand crews from around the region are currently on the fire, with more anticipated to arrive today. Three total helicopters worked the fire on Sunday, including two large helicopters, and air attack will continue as weather and smoke conditions allow.
The fire was discovered on Thursday afternoon and reported by the Black Mountain Fire Lookout.
It is burning just south of the Converse County line. Terrain is rugged in the area, which is approximately 35 miles southwest of Douglas, Wyo., in the Laramie Range.
Curtis Gulch Campground, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is one mile west of the fire and was evacuated Thursday evening. An emergency area closure has been put in place by the Forest Service and includes the campground, La Bonte Canyon Road as well as multiple other area roads and trails.
The fire is completely on National Forest lands and no structures are immediately threatened.
The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.