(Lander, WY) – As the Sand Creek Fire in the Wind River Mountains goes into its third day, details still remain sparse, but County 10 was able to touch base with Lander Rural Fire Department Battalion 3 Fire Chief Trent Jones, of the Fremont County Fire Protection District, who provided a few updates.
Lander Rural Fire was the first to respond to the scene Jones stated, with nine personnel and six wildland units. One truck was stationed on a nearby hill to observe the fire while the others attacked the flame and kept an eye on nearby structures.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but Jones did say that no roads lead directly to where the fire appears to have started.
Due to the remote location, Type 3 aerial backup was the first to be called.
On the second day of the fire, Friday, September 10th, the size increased to 150 acres by 4:00 PM.
Chief Jones says that firefighters attacked the flames the entire morning, and he was there personally from 2:30 to 6:30 PM.
During that time, a severe thunderstorm hit the area, with winds just under 60 mph, and according to Jones, this caused the fire to grow exponentially.
“It’s unconfirmed at this point, but it’s estimated the fire grew to around 1,000 acres during this time,” Jones stated.
Flight mapping was initially conducted yesterday, but had to be delayed due to the severity of the winds.
As long as weather cooperates, flight mapping will proceed today, and that data should be released in the near future.
Jones stated that a Lander Rural Fire engine crew has been out there all through the night along with the other crews, and will stay on scene to assist a Type 3 incident management team that takes over on Saturday afternoon.
The good news among all the bad, according to Jones, is that there have been no reported injuries, responder or citizen.
Chief Jones would like to remind the public to not travel anywhere near the area of the fire.
“Don’t be the person that gets stuck trying to have a looksee,” Jones advised, warning that due to the remote nature of the fire, people could easily get stuck on the back roads.
Chief Jones also cautioned that there would be an uptick in air resources being utilized, and to anyone wanting to fly their drones in the area to get a better look, that they will affect the aerial efforts of the emergency responders.
“Aircrafts can’t do their jobs if you’re flying drones in the area, so please do not.”
For updated information and pictures on the Sand Creek Fire, please visit the incident-specific page here.
View all of County 10’s Sand Creek Fire coverage here.