2012: The Summer of Flames
Posted: Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2012
GUERNSEY--With thousands of acres already burned in Wyoming and Colorado, the summer of 2012 is likely to be forever known as the Summer of Flames.
Currently burning with little containment at this time is the Arapaho Fire, crews are battling a fire that has consumed a little over 75,000 acres as of Sunday evening in and around Laramie Peak northwest of Guernsey and Wheatland.
Nearly 400 firefighters from eight crews are fighting the blaze, which had just very little, if any containment at the time of Sunday’s update at 8 p.m. A Type I Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire at that time. Agencies working the fire include Albany County, Platte County, Converse County, the U. S. Forest Service and the State of Wyoming. The Wyoming National Guard has dispatched several UH-60 helicopters to the fire.
The fire started June 27 and the cause is currently under investigation. Smoke from this fire has blanketed communities in Platte, Converse and Goshen Counties.
Structures are believed to have been lost but an assessment has not been done to confirm those losses to date due to the fire status. At least 150 structures and outbuildings have been threatened and this may change based on fire movement.
In a statement released Monday morning, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for this fire. FEMA Regional Administrator Robin Finegan approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) upon receiving the state’s request. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening approximately 125 primary residences west of Wheatland, population 3,627. The fire was also threatening communication towers, a high voltage transmission line, secondary cabins, the North Laramie watershed and Wheatland Reservoir #2. Mandatory evacuations are in place for approximately 92 people.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
Fire Management Assistance Grants are provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible items can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; mobilization and demobilization activities; and tools, materials and supplies.
Information concerning this fire and updates may be found at www. INCIWEB.org