Fire Burns Casper Mountain
The Sheep Hearder Hill fire, burning in the Casper Mountain area just south of Casper, is threatening about 150 structures, which involves the evacuation of approximately 400 people.
K2 Radio in Casper reports that Natrona County Fire Crews, assisted by a large contingent of firefighters from local departments, are battling a wind-driven fire on Casper Mountain, south of the city of Casper. Casper Fire Chief Mark Young said he's been in contact with emergency crews from the Natrona County Fire District and others that are on the mountain, and said they face strong winds as the fire is burning in sage brush.
According to Chief Young, the fire is located on the south side of the mountain, and goes on to say that several agencies are working together to fight the blaze.
About 7:00 Sunday night, Casper firefighters reported that an evacuation order was in effect for areas on Casper Mountain, due to the threat of wildfire. They also announced closures of roads at the northern base of Casper Mountain and roads leading to the mountain from Casper.
One threatened structure, The Crimson Dawn Museum, was evacuated by the Natrona County Sheriff's Office around 6:00 pm Sunday. Michelle Lipes is the assistant curator for the museum, she says that someone in a truck pulled up as they were being evacuated and helped haul some of the artifacts in the museum to safety before the flames arrived.
Natrona County Fire District Chief Kevin Finn is the Incident Commander, managing several local, state and federal assets that are now on scene. Homeland Security officials announced late Sunday night that federal funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been made available to help fight the growing blaze.
A Red Cross evacuation center has been established at the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper for those displaced by the fire.