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Wildfire grows amid hot temperatures in northern Wyoming
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Wildfire grows amid hot temperatures in northern Wyoming

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Crater Ridge Fire

The Crater Ridge Fire grew in size this week as temperatures rose across Wyoming. 

A fire burning in the Bighorn National Forest grew in intensity Thursday amid unseasonably hot temperatures in Wyoming.

Activity on the Crater Ridge Fire had been slowing of late, with three-quarters of the blaze contained. But on Thursday, it grew 230 acres, dropping containment down to 68%, said Sara Evans Kirol, public information officer for the national forest.

Along with high temperatures, the wind picked up in the area.

“The right combination just pushed the fire a little bit,” Kirol said.

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The fire grew to 6,730 acres, expanding the perimeter of the blaze, which has been burning about 30 miles northeast of Lovell since mid July. Officials had listed the fire’s likely cause as lightning, but on Friday, it was listed as “undetermined” on a federal wildfire database.

Thursday’s growth did not result in damage to any structures in the area, Kirol said. Nor are any threatened. To date, only two structures — a cabin and a barn — have been destroyed in the fire.

Sixty-one people had been working the wildfire, down from more than 200 earlier this summer when it was burning stronger. Kristol said firefighters asked for more engines and another helicopter in light of latest growth.

“They are putting some more resources in that general location to keep the fire from expanding more,” she said.

Multiple area, road and trail closures remain in effect due to the blaze.

Wildfire smoke continues to hang over much of Wyoming due to multiple blazes burning across the West. The air quality in much of Wyoming’s north was listed as moderate on Friday.

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Editor

Joshua Wolfson joined the Star-Tribune in 2007, covering crime and health before taking over the arts section in 2013. He also served as managing editor before being named editor in June 2017. He lives in Casper with his wife and their two kids.

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