Gem Lake fire contained; nearby trail still closed

By: 
Via the Wyoming News Exchange

Active wildfire map via https://inciweb.nwcg.gov at 1:17 p.m. 

BUFFALO (WNE) –- A wildfire that ignited on July 14 northwest of Buffalo is 100% contained as of Friday, meaning that crews are no longer working on suppression, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Gem Lake fire burned roughly 21 acres in the Bighorn National Forest, said Sara Evans-Kirol, the forest's public information officer. It burned in rough, remote terrain near Willow Park Reservoir, located approximately 14 miles northwest of Buffalo.

Portions of the forest nearest to the site of the fire are closed, including North Rock Creek Trail 040, until crews can remove wreckage from the single-engine plane crash that caused the fire, in which two Georgia residents were killed, Evans-Kirol said.

The fire brought 22 fire personnel, including two large Chinook helicopters and the Gila National Forest Helitack crew in the air, and the Blacktooth Wildland Fire Module, the Bighorn National Forest's 10-person initial attack hand crew stationed in Buffalo and the Black Hills Wildland Fire Module on the ground.

Evans-Kirol said that federal personnel were released from the fire on Friday, but local crews will continue to hike in and check for hot spots — areas where there is still smoldering debris and potential for re-ignition — over the next few weeks. 

The U.S. Forest Service is also patrolling the fire overhead using aircraft, including drones.

 

This story was posted on August 4, 2022.

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