Family’s home is gutted in blaze


PINEDALE – A local couple and their dog are left with nothing after their home, garage, barn and haystacks burned to the ground Wednesday afternoon.

David and Karen Winkler Moulton were at home at 156 Fayette-Pole Creek Road and saw the fire, which was moving quickly with gusty winds. They reported it at 3:38 p.m.

When Sublette County Unified Fire arrived with units and firefighters, the three structures and two haystacks were totally engulfed in flames, according to information officer Mike Petty.

No one was injured although the couple lost virtually everything. Spot fires spread to the adjacent hay meadow but not to neighboring properties. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Trudy Fry, volunteer for the Red Cross of Wyoming, said the Moultons spent the night with friends and someone was taking care of their dog. Red Cross gave them money for lodging, clothing and essentials and friends stepped in to help however they can, she said.

It will take some time for them to assess what they will need in the long run, Fry added.

“At this point they are just gathering their senses,” she said. “They have places to stay and essentials right now. They lost everything – they’re really not going to know what they need for a couple of days.”

A friend also offered them long-term use of an apartment and eventually, when they decide what to do next, there will be more opportunities for the community to assist the Moultons, she added.

“It’s going to be later when they really need help. They have to regroup and gather themselves first.”

Sublette County Unified Fire responded to the alarm with 46 personnel including SCUF, Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, Sublette County-operated water trucks, Town of Pinedale water trucks, Red Cross, Sublette County EMS, Wyoming Highway Patrol and Bridger-Teton National Forest E671 Fire engine and crew. Subway in Pinedale prepared and donated 45 box meals for grateful responders on the scene, he added.

Water trucks reloaded at a hydrant at the east side of town to ferry it to pumpers fighting the blaze.

The fire was wind-driven with gusts between 20 and 30 miles an hour and sustained winds of 15 miles an hour during the time of the fire, Petty said. SCUF fire apparatus and personnel set up in defensive positions to contain the fire to protect adjacent properties. Fayette-Pole Creek Road was also closed to through traffic for a brief time while crews worked the fire.

Fire crews stood by again Thursday to keep an eye on the smoldering ruins. n

Sublette County Unified Fire photos

Themselves, their dog and vehicles are all that are all that David and Karen Winkler Moutlon saved Wednesday when their home caught on fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

More than 45 firefighters, emergency medical technicians, the Red Cross and other first responders arrived to extinguish the blaze at 156 Fayette-Pole Creek Road.


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