CHEYENNE — Rain and cooler weather has helped the fight against wildfires burning in Wyoming.
The largest of the fires is the roughly 150-square-mile Arapaho Fire burning northwest of Wheatland. Over the weekend, rain allowed firefighters there to attack parts of the fire that were previously inaccessible. It’s now 75 percent contained.
In northwestern Wyoming, authorities say cloud cover and higher humidity helped keep the 100-square-mile Fontenelle fire from growing on Sunday. It’s 62 percent contained.
Meanwhile, crews expect to fully contain the nearly 17-square-mile Squirrel Creek wildfire by Monday evening. All evacuations have been lifted near the fire burning about 30 miles west of Laramie.
Winds vex crews battling Idaho blaze
A wildfire raced across 125 square miles of sagebrush and dry grass in southern Idaho in a little more than a day, with strong winds blocking fire crews from keeping it in check.
At one point, firefighters had hopes of containing the 80,000-acre blaze by Sunday evening.
“They had winds today that were kind of making it difficult to get a handle on it,” Kyli Gough of the Bureau of Land Management said. “Firefighters continue to work around the clock, but with winds working against them, portions of the fire remain active.”
The fast-moving Kinyon Road Fire near Castleford, 20 miles west of Twin Falls was first spotted Saturday afternoon. The wildfire initially threatened a handful of homes near the hamlet of Roseworth, but winds shifted and moved the blaze north.
Despite the fire’s size, there were no immediate threats to people or damage to property Sunday night. The blaze was 20 percent contained.
“Structure support was ordered to help protect homes on the west side of the fire by Castleford,” she said. “There have still been no reports of structure damage or evacuations.”
But conditions improved elsewhere in the West, helping crews gain ground on wildfires in Colorado and Utah.
Mont.’s largest wildfire near containment
Fire managers say they expect to have the state’s largest wildfire contained Monday.
The nearly 250,000-acre Ash Creek Fire in southeastern Montana was 90 percent contained Sunday night. Fire officials say high temperatures, lower humidity and gusty winds tested the fire lines on Sunday, but they still expect full containment on Monday, and some fire resources are being moved elsewhere.
Firefighters have been battling its spread through the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and the Custer National Forest since June 25.
The Taylor Creek Fire southeast of Fort Howes is now more than 62,000 acres and is 65 percent contained.
There are about 920 personnel responding to all five fires being managed as the Southeast Montana Complex.