By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily
More than 80 firefighters on Tuesday continued to battle a 3,200-acre forest fire burning in the Thunder Basin National Grassland in northeastern Campbell County.
As of Tuesday morning, the Dry Fork fire was 40% contained, according to Campbell County Fire Department Captain Sam Clikeman.
Campbell County has beeen hit hard by drought and riddled with grassfires that have kept firefighters hopping throughout the summer. The latest is the Dry Fork Fire, which started Sunday.
Authorities issued a “red flag” warning on Monday in the face of continued dry, hot weather expected to boost the threat of fire even further.
As of Tuesday, no homes had been lost to the Dry Fork Fire, Clikeman said, and firefighters had established a bulldozer and mechanical barrier around 90% of the fire.
“That’s the big thing,” he said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Area rancher Acacia Acord and husband Shawn has been helping battle the blaze since it began Sunday late afternoon near their ranch 35 miles north of Gillette.
“We were on it from 6 p.m. Sunday night until midnight and then again yesterday,” she said. “It barely came over on us, just a few feet but burned up a lot of our neighbors. It was hot and fast, a very nasty fire.”
As of Tuesday, firefighters were on scene from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and state forestry division, assisted by firefighters from Kansas and Colorado.