(Riverton, Wyo.) – While states to the south and west are dealing with catastrophic wild fires, so far in Wyoming firefighters are keeping their fingers crossed that one doesn’t break out here.
In Colorado, there are 13 current wildfires, and Fremont County Firefighters are assisting the effort at three of those. Fremont County Fire Protection District Chief Craig Haslam said he has three units out right now. “We have two in the Four Corners area fighting (Mocassin Basin, West Guard and Plateau) fires and one unit on the fire on the Colorado/Utah border (Red Canyon Fire),” he told County10.com. Haslam said several personnel are out on single resource assignments, meaning they are assisting incident management teams with overhead and leadership.
Haslam said the local units include two three-person teams and one-four person team, in addition to the incident management support.
The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC) from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise raised the National Fire Preparedness Level (PL) to its highest point, PL-5. The PL ranges from one, indicating minimal activity, to five, which signals very high activity. The raised preparedness level reflects a high degree of wildfire activity, a major commitment of fire resources, and the probability that severe conditions will continue for at least a few days.
Wildfire raging in Northern California include the Mendicino Complex fire, now over 300,000 acres in size and 34 percent contained. This fire has become the largest wildfire in California History. Right behind it is the Carr Fire,at 172,055.153 acres and 47 percent contained.
Just this week, 138 fireline management personnel from Australia and New Zealand arrived in the United States and were assigned to support large fires in the California and Northwest Areas. Two each MAFFS C-130 air tankers and support personnel from the 146th Airlift Wing (California Air National Guard) and the 152nd Airlift Wing (Nevada Air National Guard) have been deployed to McClellan Airfield, CA in support of wildland fire operations. One RC-26 aircraft with Distributed Real-Time Infrared (DRTI) capability and support personnel from the 141st Air Refueling Wing (Washington Air National Guard) has been deployed to Spokane, WA in support of wildland fire operations in the West.
National Fire Activity as of today (August 8) indicates over 100 wildfires are now burning, including:
• Initial Attack Activity Light (118 fires)
• New large incidents: 6
• Large fires contained: 3
• Uncontained large fires:** 60
• Area Command teams – Type 1 Incident Management Teams (IMT’s) committed: 13; Type 2 IMTs committed: 16
Nationally, there are 51 large fires being managed under a strategy other than full suppression.
**Uncontained large fires include only fires being managed under a full suppression strategy.