Firefighters battle barn fire near Cora

Robert Galbreath photos The barn at 311 Forty Rod Road was completely consumed by fire on April 29. Flammables stored in the barn contributed to the dense smoke that was visible for miles.

Crews from Sublette County

Unified Fire responded to a large structure

fire at 311 Forty Rod Road on Monday,

April 29. Smoke plumes were visible

from Pinedale. Dispatch received the first

call at 3:15 p.m. from an individual who

only provided their first name, said Travis

Bingham, public information officer at the

Sheriff’s Office.

Firefighters responded with equipment

from the Pinedale, Big Piney-Marbleton,

Daniel and Kendall Valley battalions, said

Mike Petty, public information officer with

SCUF. The fire was “fully involved” when

the first crews showed up, Petty said, and

the priority was to help the property owner

save equipment that was near the barn.

The fire spread quickly due to flammable

items stored in the barn, Petty said.

There was at least one large explosion,

sending flames and smoke high in the sky.

Petty said the possible source of the explosion

were fuel barrels by the barn.

“It’s difficult to suppress a fire like that,”

Petty said. “There was heavy fuel loading –

a lot of stuff that can catch fire and narrow

the response time to save a structure. The

strategy is to contain the fire and keep it

from spreading around to fields and adjacent

areas.”

A wildland fire truck was on standby in

case the fire spread into the nearby sagebrush.

Firefighters established a “rural

water shuttle operation” and used additional

water trucks supplied by the town of

Pinedale to haul water to the site, he added.

The intense flames destroyed the barn.

Nearby equipment “received some damage,”

Petty said. However, firefighters

succeeded in containing the fire to the

barn. All of the surrounding structures, including

homes, were saved and there were

no injuries reported to people or animals,

Petty said.

The fire was ruled “accidental” by

SCUF investigators, Petty stated. A

wood-burning stove with an oil drip system

installed to provide extra heat was

left unattended. The oil drip system malfunctioned

when no one was around and

sparked the fire that spread rapidly through

the barn, Petty explained.

Petty stressed that when people are

using heat stoves, they need to stay nearby

and be vigilant at all times during the stove’s

operation.

The lot where the fire occurred is owned by

CL Bar Properties, Inc.

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