A fire burning in the Shoshone National Forest grew rapidly this weekend.
The Sand Creek Fire grew from 150 acres on Thursday to approximately 749 on Saturday morning and is currently 0% contained, according to Laura Lozier, the public information officer for Lander’s field office of the Bureau of Land Management. The cause is still under investigation.
Dry and windy conditions helped the fire spread nearly 400%. The fire, however, is in a remote area in the Wind River Mountains just outside of Lander, and according to Lozier, there have been no reported injuries or structural damage.
On Saturday night, Wyoming’s Type III Incident Management Team began oversight, issuing a full suppression strategy of full-hand crews, smokejumpers, multiple fire engines and helicopters, totaling close to 140 personnel.
The fire has come within less than a mile of the boundaries of the Wind River Reservation. Shoshone and Arapaho Fish and Game closed Moccasin Lake and Dickinson Park Road Saturday around noon. The closure reduces risk on the narrow road, allowing better access for fire personnel, Lozier pointed out.
“The fire has burned on Forest Service and BLM lands. But it has not yet crossed over to tribal lands as of yet,” she said.
The weather could play a pivotal role in fire containment. Authorities were bracing themselves for potential fire expansion Sunday afternoon.
“Southwest winds could gust up to 30 mph, so we could see increased fire behavior this afternoon,” she said. “But we’ll just see if the wind comes or not.”
Elsewhere in Wyoming, the Crater Ridge Fire continued to burn in the Bighorn National Forest near the border with Montana. That fire, which has been burning sine mid July, is 6,732 acres and 68% contained.