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Firefighting Continues at Sheepherder Hill Complex

Sheep Herder Hill Fire Line on Casper Mountain
Rich Denison, K2 Radio News

Firefighting operations will continue at the Sheepherder Hill fire complex Thursday.

Fire officials say the Sheepherder Hill fire is burning at about 15,500 acres and is 50 percent contained. The smaller Elkhorn fire, which is burning north of the Sheepherder Hill blaze, is 100 percent contained.

Fire information officer Susan Ford says difficult terrain and persisting drought conditions will not help firefighters.

We have not had any rain,” Ford said. “That condition persists through the weekend.”

We’re predicted to get a little warmer and windier, and so that’s our concern,” Ford said.

Firefighters have benefited recently from cooler temperatures and less-gusty winds. Fire information officer Andy Lyon says firefighters will spend critical time Thursday establishing lines on the northwest portion of the blaze.

There’s a real focus today, with a day of relatively cooler temperatures, to strengthen the fire line, so, when it gets hotter and drier tomorrow, we have a really strong fire line that hopefully will hold,” Lyon said.

Firefighting at the Sheepherder Hill complex has required considerable human resources. Over 350 people are working at the fire complex on Casper Mountain.

Lyon says great work is being done by firefighters on the mountain.

I have a huge amount of respect for these mostly young men and women who are fighting this fire,” Lyon said. “A firefighting effort takes a while to ramp up, and this fire took off explosively … it takes a lot of energy and it takes a lot of people to fight a big fire.”

Firefighters expect to have the Sheepherder Hill fire contained by the weekend.

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