New Fire Near Ten Sleep Closes Highway To Buffalo
Authorities have closed U.S. Highway 16 through the Bighorn Mountains between Ten Sleep and Buffalo because of a rapidly growing fire that started Friday.
"Do not attempt to get into this area," Kenneth Blackburn of the Big Horn Sheriff's Office said Saturday morning in a news release.
"No traffic entry is being allowed in the area until it is deemed safe to do so," Blackburn said.
The Hatchery Fire began in a remote area east of Ten Sleep about 1 p.m. Friday. It has grown to more than 3,000 acres and is 0 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service InciWeb website.
The fire began on private land, but it is also burning on lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Worland Field Office, and the Bighorn National Forest.
Hot and dry conditions are aggravating its growth.
The fire threatens multiple structures. Dangerous conditions have forced a mandatory evacuation from West Ten Sleep Lake, Deer Haven, and camps and cabins in the area.
People are being evacuated to Buffalo.
In Worland, the Red Cross of Wyoming has opened a shelter to assist those people evacuated from their homes. The shelter is at the Worland Community Center, 1200 Culbertson, in Worland. Evacuees can stay overnight at the shelter and get information about other assistance available.
Firefighters are actively suppressing the fire with a retardant dropped from a large air tanker and single-engine air tankers. Three helicopters and 60 firefighters are at the scene, and more resources have been ordered.
Incident command operations are set up in the Ten Sleep Fire Hall.
There have been no injuries reported so far.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.