The Britania Fire burning some 16 miles west of Wheatland has grown to roughly 21,000 acres as of Wednesday morning.

That information comes from Public Information Officer Pat Kondas, who says several more cabins are presumed destroyed. Fire officials said at a public meeting Tuesday night in Wheatland that two primary structures and a number of outbuildings had been claimed by that point.

The fire, evidently the result of a lightning strike, was first reported early Sunday and grew quickly, spurred on by gusty winds, warm temperatures and low relative humidity. A red flag warning, indicative of critical fire weather, was issued for the area Wednesday morning, and fire officials anticipate another such warning Thursday.

Rocky Mountain Team Black, a Type II incident management team, has arrived in Wheatland and is expected to assume command of the fire Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, Kondas said.

As of Tuesday, some 260 firefighters were working the blaze. Hand crews were engaged in direct attack on the fire line and helicopters were dropping water from buckets.

A voluntary evacuation remained in place late Tuesday for the area north of Palmer Canyon Road, where the southern edge of the fire continues to move south. While it is a voluntary evacuation, Kondas stressed that the evacuation was "highly recommended."

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