Firefighters respond to several grass fires; Five-state area increases fire danger level

(Gillette, Wyo.) Monday afternoon, CCFD responded to Buffalo Creek Road for a timber fire. The 1.3 acre fire was caused by lightning, and was not immediately accessible by trucks. Fire personnel worked through the night to contain it, and remain on scene today to make sure it does not rekindle. At around 5:45 p.m., a fire was called in by Coal Creek Mine staff. An 11 acre grass and brush fire near Hilight Road was contained by crews, but the cause of it is unknown. By 8 p.m., a grass fire on Ponderosa View Drive drew both CCFD and the Campbell County Sheriff's Office, as it was in the same area as a two acre fire put out there on Saturday . Monday's fire was very small and quickly contained by firefighters, but the cause is under investigation. Investigators suspect it may be arson, rather than a re-ignition of the fire from the weekend. The Rocky Mountain Inter-Agency Coordination Center in Lakewood, Colorado, issued a statement that the "Preparedness Level" for Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, has gone up as of noon on July 11th. Preparedness levels are based on current and forecast weather conditions, fire activity, and resource availability. We are now at a Level 3. Levels range from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest level. Each level has specific management directions to help assure firefighting resources are ready to respond to new incidents. Fire danger in the Rocky Mountain area is high due to winds, temperatures and drying fuel conditions and is expected to remain the same or increase. The seven day fire potential outlook indicates a moderate or high risk for significant fire activity across the geographic area. In addition, on-going and emerging fire incidents are requiring a major commitment of the area’s firefighting resources. With an increase in burning conditions, fire activity, and red flag warnings, the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center encourages the public to be careful with anything that could start a fire. *Photo: Buffalo Creek Fire h/t CCFD // Pitchengine Communities* #county17 #news