Badger Creek Fire Grows to 2,300 Acres, FEMA Authorizes Funds for Firefighting Efforts [PHOTOS][VIDEO]
3 pm June 11, 2018
UPDATE (9:30 p.m.): According to InciWeb, the fire has grown to 5,244 acres. Growth was primarily to the east.
UPDATE (12 p.m.): The Forest Service says the fire is still estimated at 2,300 acres. Six engines were on duty overnight in the evacuated communities providing fire suppression, structure protection and assessment. Previous hazard tree removal treatments in the are and air tanker retardant drops yesterday helped with the effort as well. The Forest Service says additional resources continue to arrive.
Currently, four Hot Shot crews and one Type 2 crew are working the fire. Two Type 1 helicopters, one Type 3 helicopters and one air attack plane are assisting the effort. The Rocky Mountain Region's Black Team will assume command of the fire operations on Wednesday.
The Badger Creek Fire has burned 2,300 acres after it made a large, wind-driven run Monday in southern Albany County on the Medicine Bow National Forest and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the fire.
The fire burned six miles to the east from its origin and has prompted county officials to issue additional evacuation notices for the area along Highway 10 from Woods Landing to the Colorado State line, according to the Forest Service. The communities of Woods landing, New Jelm and Jelm are being evacuated by Albany County. Wyoming Highway 10 is closed from Woods Landing to Colorado, including Jelm.
Albany County Officials have also issued evacuation orders for the communities of Mountain Home, Wold Tract, WyoColo, Foxpark, Gramm, Beehive and Miller Lake. Pre-evacuation orders are in place for the community of Foxborough. It is advised by the Forest Service that all dispersed campers near the fire area relocate to other areas of the Forest.
Hot dry winds drove the fire Monday afternoon. The fire moved both to the north and east and by mid-afternoon, it had crossed Wyoming Highway 230 between Wold Tract and Mountain Home. Highway 230 has been closed from Woods Landing to the Colorado state line.
Air forces arrived on the scene Monday helping the ground-based U.S Forest Service, Albany County, and Wyoming State Forestry Division fire personnel. Two very large air tankers, or VLATS and four heavy air tankers provided structure protection for private property and residences primarily in the Wold Tract community. Two twenty-person hand crews are in place as well. There are about 70 personnel assigned to the fire.
The state’s request for a federal Fire Management Grant through FEMA was approved yesterday by FEMA Regional Administrator Lee dePalo. The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs. The grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
The Forest Service says the overall strategy is full suppression of the fire, by engaging in locations with the highest probability of success. Due to the rapid growth of the fire and the emergency situation, efforts continue to be focused on evacuation, public safety and fire assessment.
At this time there is no confirmation that structures have been burned or destroyed.
Evacuees are being asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org with accurate contact information so that consistent information sharing can be maintained.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. A “tip line” has been set up by the Laramie Ranger District. The public is asked to call 307-745-2392, select option #5 and leave a detailed message with any information they may have seen on Sunday afternoon, June 10, near Forest Service Roads 501 and 544D in the area of the Mountain Home OHV Trail system.
InciWeb posted a map of the affected area: