Morning News Release - 07/04/2012
Incident: Arapaho Fire Wildfire
Contact: Public Information Office - 307-298-0556
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 9:00 am MST Fire Status Update
Size: 93,505 (Acreage increase obtained from infrared flight taken on July 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm)
News and Events for the Arapaho Fire
· Burnout operations on the SW corner of the fire were successful last night
· Shifting winds and record dry conditions continue to pose challenges for the firefighters
· Casper and Rock River may experience additional smoke in the area over the next several days
· There is a good chance of wetting rains with showers and thunderstorms expected by late Thursday through Friday.
· For property assessment information for Platte, Albany and Converse Counties, call the hotline number at 307-322-6590 from 3-8 p.m. today
· Happy 4th of July! Be extra careful with increased traffic and heavy equipment on the roadways
· For current fire restrictions, visit the Wyoming interagency fire restrictions website at http://www.wy.blm.gov/wy fire restrictions/
· For those wanting to provide assistance or make donations, please call 1-307-331-8660
Arapaho Fire: Firefighters have made very good progress on the E flank of the fire; the W flank will continue to challenge firefighters due to rugged terrain and limited access. Concentrations of heavy fuels, particularly in the area north of Laramie Peak, will create a significant plume if the fire moves into that area. Strategy and contingency plans have been completed for the NW corner of the fire. Out of area firefighting resources are focusing on coordination efforts with local and county resources. Structure protection specialists continue to prepare Friend Park and Cottonwood structures for defense, if needed.
County officials and fire commanders flew the fire yesterday and decided it was safe to open Fletcher Park Road to the intersection with Fish Creek Road. Fletcher Park Road remains closed from the Fish Creek Road intersection to Cottonwood Park Road. Fish Creek Road remains closed from Harris Park to the Fletcher Park Road intersection. The Oregon Trail subdivision evacuation has been lifted and is now open.
Evacuations: The Sheriff's office has issued evacuations for Laramie Peak Ranch, Cottonwood Park, Friend Park, North Laramie Trailhead, and Harris Park. The community of Esterbrook is not included in the evacuations at this time.
Closures: All Forest Service lands, recreation sites, roads and trails east of Esterbrook Road. Trails include Laramie Peak Trail (#602); North Laramie River Trail (#625); Friend Park Trail (#609); Harris Park Trail (#616); Roaring Fork Trail (#623); and Laramie Peak Trailhead; recreation sites closed include Esterbrook Campground and Friend Park Campground.
Arapaho Fire: Started: June 27, 2012; Cause: Under investigation; Location: 28 miles NW of Wheatland, WY; Resources: A total of 608 personnel assigned to the fire, including 4 hotshot crews, 13 hand crews, 5 assigned helicopters, 50 engines, 2 dozers and 8 water tenders.
SAFETY CONCERNS: Heat exhaustion associated illness, smoke and poor visibility, narrow dirt roads and animals on the road.
RESOURCE CONCERNS: Invasive species such as dalmation toadflax, cheatgrass and zebra mussel transported on equipment from other locations.
WEATHER: Another cold front pushed into the fire area early this morning. This is bringing slightly cooler conditions to the fire area along with shifting winds. Today, partly cloudy skies this afternoon with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Temps 82 to 88 degrees with minimum RH 15 to 22%. On the E flank of the fire, NW winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph in the morning shifting NE to SE after 3:00 p.m. Ridge line winds W to SW 10 to 15 mph. On the W flank of the fire, winds W to SW 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. Ridgeline winds W to SW 10 to 15 mph.
Outlook for tonight is partly cloudy with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Temps around 60 degrees with moderate RH recovery 50 to 65%. Ridgeline winds SE to SW 10 to 15 mph, with drainage winds after sunset 5 to 10 mph.
Outlook for Thursday is cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms by the afternoon. Temps 78 to 82 degrees with minimum RH 30 to 40%. Ridgeline winds S 10 to 15 mph and valley winds SW to SE 10 to 15 mph. Chance of wetting rain is 30% by late afternoon.
TODAY'S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Dry fuels, steep slopes and breezy conditions continue to create potential for large fire growth. This trend will continue until significant rainfall increases fuel moisture. Wind speed and direction are the critical driving factor of fire behavior.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, the Wyoming State Forestry Division, Platte County, Albany County and Converse County; the Rawlins Field Office of the High Desert District of the Bureau of Land Management.