Britania Mountain Fire burns up more than 24,000 acres in Wyoming
August 31, 2018
Lightning is the suspected cause of the Britania Mountain Fire burning in Albany and Platte counties, west of Wheatland, Wyo. The fire, now estimated at 64 percent containment, up from 33 percent in 24 hours, is burning on private and federal land, fueled by timber and grass.
According to officials, the fire started Sunday, Aug. 26 and had grown to 24,105 acres Thursday morning. Thursday evening, officials reported the fire at 26,028 acres and 64 percent containment with the help of 436 personnel. Shifting winds and rugged terrain are both creating challenges for the crews on the scene, one from as far away as Florida.
According to a spokesperson, some structures, including a residence, have burned but exact numbers remain difficult to determine, as fire crews are still unable to access some areas.
Construction of a fire line continues on the north and east sides of the fire. Crews worked along Palmer Canyon Road to protect structures and aviation support is on scene with single engine air tankers and helicopter water drops.
Wyatt Dunlap, a volunteer firefighter in the Laramie Peak Fire Zone was called out early Sunday morning, according to Katie Shockley, one of the cattle producing families affected by the blaze.
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Dunlap and his father, Scott, were among the first on the scene and he stayed until Tuesday, leaving only to attend classes at nearby University of Wyoming in Laramie.
Dunlap knew his horses were in danger with the growing fire but the shifting winds and rough terrain made it too dangerous to access the area to reach them.
Once the fire passed the area, Dunlap said his three horses were there, unharmed.
"It's always hard to see a fire go through," he said. "It's just a lot of work. Everyone puts in a lot of work to put out a fire, a lot of long days and long nights, and you don't get much sleep."
According to officials, the community has been generous in donations of necessary items for firefighters. There is a catering crew on site. Officials urge those wishing to contribute to consider making monetary donations to local districts that responded in the early stages of the fire as they will have significant resources to replenish. Districts local to the fire are Palmer Canyon Fire, Laramie Peak Fire, Albany County Fire District No. 1, Sybille Volunteer Fire Zone, Garrett Fire Zone, Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department, Glendo Rural Fire Department, Gurnsey Rural Fire Departmeny, Gurnsey Fire Department, Hartville Fire Department, Antelope Gap Fire Department and Chugwater Fire Department.
Donations of pre-stamped postcards and stamps for firefighters to utilize are being collected at the Incident Command Post at the Platte County Fairgrounds. ❖
— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 392-4410.