Laramie, WY (KGWN) - The Owen Fire received widespread precipitation yesterday after firefighters made progress constructing containment line with the assistance of mechanical equipment. Containment remains at 80 percent and fire managers want to remind the public that the remaining 20 percent will be the most challenging and time consuming to complete.
“We hope to have the fire fully contained by around the end of the month.” said Laramie District Fire Management Officer Tom Gonnoud. “With the rugged terrain and hazard trees in the area, remaining containment will take more time to assure firefighter safety.”
The fire will downgrade to a Type 4 incident on Saturday, July 12 with fewer resources assigned; personnel from the Storm Peak Wildfire Module in Steamboat Springs will take command of the fire.
Pockets of unburned fuel remain within the fire perimeter and the public should expect to see smoke in the area as firefighters continue making progress.
“We are very fortunate to have a resource like the Storm Peak Module stationed on the Forest.” said Laramie District Ranger Frank Romero. “That module, along with a District wildland engine, will continue managing the fire and providing fire behavior updates. Because of ongoing operations, as well as the proximity of the fire to the Lake Owen Campground and Day-Use Area, closures will remain in effect for everyone’s safety.”
Forest Road 540, which is immediately adjacent to the fire perimeter, remains closed and fire officials are discouraging the public from entering the area or other roads adjacent to the fire perimeter. A ‘No Unnecessary Travel’ restriction by the Albany County Sheriff’s Department is in place for Fox Creek Road to the east of the fire.
The Owen Fire’s perimeter was more accurately mapped on Thursday, reducing acres affected to approximately 450. The location of the fire is directly north of Lake Owen on the Medicine Bow National Forest.
There have been no firefighter injuries, nor have there been any structures burned. Firefighter and public safety remains the top priority of the incident.
The Owen Fire was discovered Monday afternoon burning primarily in large beetle-killed timber about 30 miles southwest of Laramie. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The emergency shelter at Harmony School has been closed. For details about the services available from the Albany County Emergency Management Office call 307-721-1815.
As new information becomes available, updates will be provided by Public Affairs staff from the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland on Twitter at: @MBRNFsTBNG, hashtag #OwenFire and at InciWeb.