Press Release – Personnel on the Keystone Fire in the Snowy Range focused their efforts Tuesday on structure protection and assessment, as well as aerial water drops on hot spots by helicopters. The fire grew slightly to the south and east, and is now roughly estimated at 350 acres.
There is still no containment of the wildfire, which is established in the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeast Wyoming. Total personnel working the fire now is near 100. Assessment is ongoing, but to this point, no structures have been reported to have burned.
All told, 138 buckets of water were put on the fire Tuesday by a Type III helicopter (93 drops) and a Type I helicopter (45 drops). Multiple retardant drops by a heavy air tanker took place Monday to protect structures in the Keystone area.
Engines will patrol and continue night operations on Tuesday in preparation for the management transfer on Wednesday morning to Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue (Esperance). The growing complexity of the fire has prompted the reclassification of the incident from Type III to Type II.
Wednesday’s weather forecast is calling for hot, dry conditions with a high near 80 and light variable winds.
Evacuation orders remain in place for the Albany County communities of Keystone, Rambler, and Lake Creek, as well as Rob Roy Campground (USFS), and dispersed campers near Rob Roy, Cinnabar Park, and Bobbie Thomson. There is no set date/time for evacuees to return.
The public should not try to enter the area west of Albany, which includes Rob Roy and Keystone, and all dispersed campers in the area have been asked to relocate. Forest Service officials hope to have an area closure order in place Wednesday.
The overall strategy of fire personnel is for full suppression of the Keystone Fire, by engaging in locations with the highest probability of success. Public and firefighter safety is a priority.
In addition to cabins and homes near the fire, other resources at risk include power lines, water supply infrastructure owned by the City of Cheyenne, habitat for livestock grazing and wildlife, as well as timber production stands of trees.
Albany County Public Health is advising residents or visitors with any respiratory conditions within a 50 mile radius of the fire to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the hazards of smoke inhalation. Varying wind and weather conditions over the next few days will affect the smoke density and could create poor visibility conditions as well. Anyone experiencing breathing problems due to the smoke should consult their primary care provider or seek medical assistance.
An evacuation center for those in need of shelter has been established by Albany County at the Harmony School on Wyoming Highway 230. Displaced animals can be sheltered at the County Fairgrounds in Laramie.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and its’ origin is near Horse Creek and Forest Road 511. That location is 1.5 miles southwest of Rob Roy Reservoir, 1.5 miles northwest of the community of Keystone, and 2 miles south of the Rambler community.
Fire information and updates are available on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB, and on InciWeb, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5309.