Officials are gaining control of Wyoming’s largest wildfire this year. A 225-acre is about 90 percent under control as of Wednesday while two out of three smaller fires have been put out near the town of Ten Sleep. Bureau of Land Management officials expect all fires to be extinguished by Wednesday.
Bureau of Land Management Worland Field Office Manager Rance Neighbors said they weren’t expecting significant wildfires this early.
“You know, I wouldn’t say we weren’t ready for them. But you know, typically in early June, we do get some small fires,” Neighbors said. But with these fires we were experiencing pretty rapid rates of spread and pretty extreme fire conditions for this early in June.”
The National Interagency Fire Center predicts an average wildfire season for the Bighorn Basin. Neighbors said despite some vegetation being dry, he does not expect anything out of the unusual this summer.
Officials in nearby Bighorn National Forest weren’t as concerned about wildfires reaching their area at this time of year. Bighorn National Forest Public Affairs Specialist Susie Douglas said the Bighorn Basin compared to the Bighorn National Forest is much drier and more susceptible to wildfires.
“Grass churs quicker there than up on the Bighorn because it’s exposed to the sun. There’s with little shade. Very little water,” Douglas said.
The Bureau of Land Management spent three hundred eighty thousand dollars to control these fires. The Bighorn Basin averages about 16 wildfires each year.