CHEYENNE — Firefighters are making progress in trying to stop a fire near Glendo State Park in southeast Wyoming.
The Sawmill Fire started Saturday on a Wyoming National Guard training area. It has burned about 12 square miles of timber and grass and is 30 percent contained. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The east side of Glendo State Park is closed as a precaution but the west side remains open.
An unknown number of campers and visitors on the east side of the park were evacuated Sunday night and moved to the west side of the reserve, which remains open, according to Domenic Bravo, administrator of the state Parks, Historic Sites and Trails Division.
“There wasn’t a lot of folks that we had to evacuate,” Bravo said Monday. “There was good handful though.”
Glendo is northwest of Guernsey State Park, which was evacuated and closed this summer because of another wildfire, which was human caused. Guernsey has since reopened.
Glendo Park includes Glendo Reservoir, which is a popular destination for boaters and has more than 400 campsites.
The Sawmill Canyon fire burning in the area began Saturday on Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center land, which is operated by the Wyoming Guard.
On Monday afternoon, about 180 firefighters aided by helicopters and heavy air tankers managed to gain about 30 percent containment of the blaze.
The area, which includes an artillery range, was being used for training this past weekend, Guard spokeswoman Deidre Forster said.
Forster said she didn’t know what types of drills were occurring or what units were involved. The area is used for training by various agencies, including the U.S. military, police units, as well as by the Wyoming Guard.
State Forester Bill Crapser said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Crapser said no structures were immediately threatened, but he said hot, dry weather throughout the day allowed for active burning on the north end of the fire in the vicinity of some scattered private homes.
Meanwhile, authorities in Grand Teton National Park now say lightning started a small wildfire last week on the west side of Cody Peak.
Firefighters found an illegal campfire ring in the burned area Thursday and originally suspected the fire was human-caused.