By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A wildfire sparked earlier this week in northern Albany County has not grown in the last 24 hours, but it has not yet been contained, a fire command team spokesman told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.
Jonathan Ashford, a spokesman for Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 3, said firefighters and other emergency management teams were working on Wednesday to create a direct fire line, which would keep the Sugarloaf Fire from growing.
The fire has burned about 400 acres, but does not appear to have grown since aerial teams checked the perimeter of the blaze from the skies on Tuesday.
“We think it’s stayed about the same size due to the weather and the significant amount of aircraft that was sent up yesterday [to drop water onto the wildfire],” Ashford said. “Our big challenge here is the terrain we’re operating on, because it’s really steep and rocky.”
Sugarloaf Fire is believed to have been started around noon on Monday. Investigators believe it is human caused, but Ashford could not speak to the reasons why they came to this conclusion.
The fire started near the Cow Creek Trailhead in the forest and is burning about seven miles southwest of Laramie Peak.
“The goal with the fire lines we’ve created is to allow the fire to burn vegetation and fuels in the direct path, but at a certain point, it won’t have anything to do or anywhere to go,” Ashford said.
Around 10 residences were evacuated in northern Albany County on Monday, but Ashford said none of the people who left their homes have utilized any of the Red Cross services that have been offered. He said the closest residence to the fire is still about a mile away.
Those in the evacuation area were told to gather their important belongings, family members and pets and to leave the area.
It was not clear when the evacuation order would be lifted.
Medicine Bow was the spot where the devastating Mullen Fire broke out in September 2020, burning for weeks until it was finally contained in mid-October 2020.