Authorities say no injuries occurred when a Casper fast-food restaurant's sign was blown over by a gust of wind Thursday morning.

The westside McDonald's sign fell at approximately 10:57 a.m., said Sgt. Deahn Amend with the Casper Police Department.

The structure - the famous golden arches, standing roughly 30 feet in the air - landed in the eastbound turning lane of Wyoming Boulevard. No other property damage was reported, authorities say.

Nix Signs Co. helped get the fallen sign situated into the east end of the eatery's parking lot. A manager at the McDonald's said the sign would be moved away sometime Friday. She said it was the first time in her 15 years of employment with the company that she has heard of a sign tumbling.

The fast-food restaurant stayed open during the incident. Management said while they plan on having another sign in place, no timetable has been set.

Wyoming dealt with high winds for much of Thursday and into Friday.

Reid Wolcott, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Riverton, said that about the same time the Casper McDonald's sign fell, a wind gauge at the Casper/Natrona County International Airport registered a 53 mph wind gust.

The highest wind speed recorded in Wyoming on Thursday was 134 mph on Mt. Coffin in Lincoln County. The gauge is atop the mountain at roughly 11,000 feet, Wolcott said.

In Laramie County, authorities say the high winds fanned a grass fire into a three-mile wide blaze Thursday afternoon.

A downed power line sparked the fire in the Pine Bluffs area. The blaze spread to somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 acres before firefighters were able to put it out about three hours later.

Fire District 2 spokesman Lew Simpson said the incident would have been a routine grass fire if not for the winds.

A spokesman with Rocky Mountain Power, speaking Friday afternoon, said no major power outages had been reported because of the winds during the last two days.

LaBarge and Rawlins both had brief outages on Thursday, with the latter due to a downed power line that was back up and running two hours later. Rock Springs had a brief outage Friday, the spokesman said.

In Casper, no outages had been reported.

Wolcott said a cold front moving through Wyoming on Friday afternoon and evening would bring additional winds. Casper, he said, would be under a high wind warning during the front's arrival, while much of Wyoming would remain under a high wind watch.

State highways have also been affected by the winds. The Wyoming Department of Transportation posted a closure notice on Interstate 25 for light, high-profile vehicles.

WYDOT also issued a light trailer advisory for much of south Wyoming, as well as in the Wheatland and Casper areas.

Sgt. John Townsend with the Wyoming Highway Patrol said that on Thursday and Friday, troopers responded to at least 15 crashes involving semitrailers being blown over. No fatalities were reported, according to Townsend.

Motorists may check Wyoming roadway advisories by visiting the www.wyoroad.info.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 

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