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A wildfire in southern Wyoming doubled in size Tuesday as it continued to spread eastward, the U.S. Forest Service said Tuesday night.

The Badger Creek Fire has now engulfed 5,241 acres, closed two roads and forced the evacuation of 393 homes in an area near the Wyoming-Colorado border.

An unspecified number of structures have been destroyed by the fire, according to a Wednesday morning news release. Forest service spokesman Aaron Voos said he could not specify the nature of the structures or the number destroyed until owners are contacted by law enforcement.

A Tuesday night news release indicated the fire had burned 5,244 acres, slightly higher than estimates released Wednesday morning. The estimate was revised after more accurate mapping was conducted, Voos said Wednesday morning.

The blaze more than doubled in size as it spread east on Tuesday. Three helicopters and an airplane were involved in firefighting operations. And about 70 firefighters battled the conflagration on Monday.

Authorities have issued evacuation orders for Mountain Home, Wyocolo, Wold Tract, Foxpark, Gramm, Beehive, Miller Lake, Woods Landing, New Jelm and Jelm, as well as other unincorporated areas along Highway 10 from Woods Landing south to the Colorado state line.

Authorities scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Albany County Fairgrounds. Representatives from the Rocky Mountain Region’s Black Incident Management Team, which is heading up operations, plan to give an update on the fire and answer questions from attendees.

Hot, dry and windy conditions are expected again Wednesday. Authorities attributed the rapid growth of the fire Monday in part to weather conditions.

The fire was first reported Sunday and had spread to about 150 acres by Monday afternoon. It grew rapidly that evening and had burned 2,300 acres by Monday night, before doubling in size Tuesday. Fire activity died down overnight but picked up again Wednesday morning.

Fire containment was still at zero percent as of late Wednesday morning.

The cause is under investigation.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson


Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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