The largest wildland fire in Wyoming this season has been declared contained as of Thursday, Aug. 23 and is now in patrol status. The Arapaho Fire, 98,115 acres in size, had been burning on the Laramie Peak unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest since lightning started the fire on June 27. At its’ peak, the fire had around 1,051 people assigned to it.
Throughout the fire, several U.S. Forest Service recreation areas, trails and trailheads were either directly or indirectly impacted. With the exception of the Arapaho Trail, all of those public-use areas are now open and the area closure has been removed. Notably, the Friend Park Campground, Friend Creek Trail and Trailhead, as well as the North Laramie River Trail and Trailhead may now be used by the public.
Although open, all areas received extensive damage and are still being assessed for long-term recovery and treatment needs. Caution should be used when traveling through or using areas within the Arapaho Fire. Notable hazards include, changing road conditions due to rain events and burned trees that are at increased risk of falling.
The east end of Arapaho Trail from the flat west of the Bear Creek crossing will remain closed until further notice due to poor road conditions and continuing concerns with the crossing and the road itself. This is a long-term closure needed until conditions stabilize and will likely remain in place until next summer.
Recent weather trends allowed direct suppression tactics by firefighters on remaining hot spots along exterior lines, which resulted in full containment of the fire. Those hot spots were on steep and rugged portions of Laramie Peak and Eagle Peak, within the west and northwest portions of the Arapaho Fire. Although containment has been achieved, full control of the fire may not occur until a season-ending precipitation event can help suppress remaining interior hot spots. Visible smoke columns should be expected in hot and dry conditions, as unburned, interior portions of the fire could still ignite.
Crews will continue to patrol the Arapaho Fire, as well as handle initial attack of any new fire starts in the area. Rehabilitation of roads and interior fire lines is also still in progress.
For more general information on the Arapaho Fire contact the Douglas Ranger District at 307-358-4690. Media inquiries should be directed to Larry Sandoval or Aaron Voos at 307-745-2420 or 307-745-2323, respectively.
For statewide fire information please go to WSFD https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/wsfd-fire-information/
For information on structures that may have been impacted by the fire, residents should contact the following County Emergency Managers:
· Albany County, Rick Jansen, (307) 721-1815
· Platte County, Jane Carlson, (307) 322-2140
- · Converse County, Russ Dalgarn, (307) 359-3444
|Date of Origin||Wednesday June 27th, 2012 approx. 10:35 PM|
|Location||28 miles NW of Wheatland, WY|
|Incident Commander||Josh Mcgee|
|Estimated Containment Date||Thursday August 23rd, 2012 approx. 12:00 PM|
10 Timber (litter and understory) Multiple fuel types: 9, 10, 5, GR 2, GS 1. Dominant fuel is sagebrush(FM 5) and timber(Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine FM 9, 10)
Hot spots within the interior.
Moderating weather conditions in the past couple of weeks have allowed fire crews to safely begin implementing direct containment tactics in some locations, thus 100% containment.
Some hot spots may still require a season-ending precipitation event.