The Crater Ridge Fire burning in the Bighorn National Forest between Lovell and Dayton has continued to expand with no containment.

According to a Monday morning update, the suspected lightning-caused fire is 602 acres in size. Firefighters are continuing to work to fully suppress the fire.

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The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team says the fire is burning down a slope and approaching the confluence of Pumpkin and Cub creeks.

Two Type-1 helicopters dropped more than 70,000 gallons of water in order to slow the fire's advance. Type 1 helicopters are the largest helicopters available to wildland fire crews.

Crews are preparing to conduct firing operations (or backburns) if needed to cut off fuel in the fire's path.

On Monday, fire managers anticipate dry weather through Tuesday with gusty winds. Increased moisture is expected Tuesday with the best chances of significant rain coming Thursday through Sunday.

Fire behavior is expected to increase as hot, dry weather remains.

Currently, 234 personnel are working on the fire and that includes:

  • Five crews
  • Six engines
  • 10 Heavy equipment
  • Two water tenders
  • Two Type 1 helicopters
  • Two Type 3 helicopters

Additionally, Sheridan County, where the fire is burning, is under a Stage 1 fire restriction. 

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