CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A wildfire burning in southeastern Wyoming is expected to continue growing in strong winds through the weekend, fire officials said Thursday.
The fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest has burned nearly 28 square miles (73 square kilometers) after becoming more active in windy, warm weather that started Wednesday, the Rocky Mountain Area Blue Team said.
Conditions were bad again on Thursday and were expected to be even worse on Friday, said John Peterson, a spokesperson for the fire team. He said aircraft used to fight the fire may not be able to fly when winds intensify. He urged nearby residents to sign up to get evacuation warnings and other emergency messages from the sheriff’s office.
“The people near this fire are going to see more activity,” Peterson said.
In its daily update on Thursday, the fire team said firefighters were working on the ground and in the air to protect the communities of Keystone and Lake Creek and the area around Rob Roy Reservoir area. The reservoir and others connected by pipelines supply water to Cheyenne. Crews were removing brush and installing sprinkler systems to protect buildings, it said.
The wildfire has burned most of the Savage Run Wilderness, where it began Sept. 17, as well as the Platte River Wilderness.
Firefighters have had to contend with rugged terrain and dense forest, much of it killed by beetles.
Officials were investigating signs the fire was human-caused.