CASPER – A 3,000-acre wildfire is burning across three Wyoming counties with little containment as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Deer Creek 2 fire, which spans federal, state and private lands across Campbell, Sheridan and Johnson Counties, has grown roughly 2,500 acres since Monday evening.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but Melanie Wilmer, the public information officer for the Campbell County Fire Department, said the leading theory is that the blaze was sparked by a burning coal seam in Campbell County, and the surrounding area was dry enough for it to take off.
Deer Creek 2 has not caused any road or railroad closures yet, nor has it forced the few ranchers who live in the area to evacuate. Hot and dry conditions, in addition to the landscape, are hampering containment efforts.
“The terrain out there is very difficult. It’s basically straight up straight down,” Wilmer said.
Arvada, one of the towns closest to the fire, issued an excessive heat warning Tuesday, as the temperature reached a high of 105 degrees. There have so far been no injuries to citizens or firefighters, outside of one firefighter overheating Tuesday. He will be back out to fight the fire Thursday, the Campbell County Fire Department spokesperson said.
The temperature in the area of the fire is supposed to hover around 97 degrees, with winds of 15 to 20 mph out of the north, including gusts around 30 mph.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 125 people on the fire, with 110 in the field and 15 in the management department.
A Wyoming Type 3 Incident Management Team took over Wednesday morning. Multiple single engine air tankers, some larger air tankers and two helicopters are fighting the fire from above.
“What we’re really hoping for is the fire to push back on itself,” Wilmer said.
For more information, visit the Facebook page specifically created for the fire and check air quality at www.airnow.gov.
There are multiple additional fires burning in Wyoming including the Crater Ridge Fire, which has charred 641 acres in the northern part of the state. Crews have not been able to contain any of the blaze as of Wednesday. In that fire, firefighters have used water buck drops from aircraft to delay the spread of the fire. Nearly 275 people are working that blaze.