One Year Ago: Fairfield Fire ignites in Sinks Canyon and ultimately burns more than 1300 acres

(Lander, Wyo.) – A year ago, on July 22, 2013, smoke began to rise out of the back of Sinks Canyon south of Lander. Soon after, the canyon was closed and evacuations of homes on Homestead Park on the top of the canyon were beginning.

The Fairfield Fire was later determined to be caused a lightning strike from days earlier, an ember having festered until that morning on July 22 when it began grow.

Ultimately, the fire burned approximately 1,335 acres on the Shoshone National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Sinks Canyon State Park property. Private homes were threatened, but none were damaged.

County10 covered the event extensively from Day 1 until the the fire reached total containment and closures were lifted on August 9, 2013. Firefighting resources from across the county, state and country came to assist. We also had many readers to thank for hundreds of photos of the fire that were submitted over those two weeks.

Since that time, numerous projects have been done in the canyon by many different agencies and organizations to help revive the canyon wall. Cheatgrass treatments were done, grass seeds sowed, and seedling trees planted, among other work.

Fremont County Fire Protection District Warden Craig Haslam praised the interagency work that went into the fight, saying the strong relationships between everyone were key to the successful fight.

The Fremont County Fire Wise program is launching a large-scale fuel reductions project on Homestead Park. Program Coordinator Ron Wempen told the Fremont County Commission on Tuesday that 110 acres, affecting 14 landowners, will be treated in the coming months to further protect homes and property. The project is funded through a combination of different grants.

Reminisce over the days of the Fairfield Fire by seeing all our coverage here.