Aug 4, 2015

Bighorn National Forest asks for owners to move some RVs as fire west of Dayton spreads

The Sheep Creek Fire, burning in the Tongue River Canyon west of Dayton, grew to a little less than 1,000 acres on Tuesday.

Firefighters are trying to suppress the wildfire, but it's burning in rugged terrain.

The Sheep Creek Fire, as seen from the air on Monday morning. Courtesy photo
Because the fire and firefighting effort could spread, Bighorn National Forest officials are asking people to move their trailers from along Forest Roads 184 and 185, in the Sawmill Flats area and around Freeze Out Point. Somewhere between 40 and 50 trailers were parked in those spots on Tuesday, forest officials estimated.

The fire started Sunday. Though the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Forest Service are still investigating exactly what started the blaze, they've confirmed it was human-caused, authorities said on Tuesday.

A state-level, type 3 team, lead by incident commander Dick Terry of the Wyoming State Forestry Division, took over over management of the fire Tuesday morning. A command post has been set up at the Tongue River High School in Dayton.

Two helicopters, air tankers, smokejumpers, three hand crews, and Sheridan County engines and bulldozers were among the resources working the fire by Monday night.

Firefighters initially estimated the fire had grown to 1,100 acres on Tuesday, but more accurate aerial mapping later concluded it had yet to reach 1,000 acres. This article has been updated to reflect that.

As a result of the fire, the Amsden Wildlife Habitat Management Area is closed to the public, as are Sheridan County roads 90 and 92 at their junction west of Dayton. Forest Service Trail 002 is also closed between the Bighorn National Forest boundary to the junction with Forest Service Trail 159.

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