The Fish Fire in Crook County has grown to 6,668 acres, is now 20% contained, and its cause is under investigation, according to a Thursday update from the multiagency InciWeb website.

"The fire started on private land and was human caused," InciWeb said.

About 20 homes in the South of Canyon Springs Road area to the south end of the fire and east of Wyoming Highway 585 remain under evacuation.

The Fish Fire was first reported Sunday morning, and was estimated to be about 750 acres until noon Tuesday.

But later Tuesday, InciWeb reported that it had burned over nearly 6,500 acres, or about 10.2 square miles.

Agencies from Crook County, the U.S. Forest Service and Wyoming State Forestry Division are working to suppress the fire. Helicopters and air tankers have made water and retardant drops, according to InciWeb.

More than 400 firefighting personnel are on the scene.

Firefighters are building and patrolling containment lines with bulldozers, and fire engines are putting out fires and protecting structures around residences.

The Black Hills National Forest has closed the area south of Crook County Road (Clark Road) and Wyoming Highway 585, east to Reynolds Road (FSR 872), south to the Moskee townsite and west to Wyoming Highway 585.

The closure provides for public safety and safe egress of fire vehicles in the area of the Fish Fire. Visit the Closure Order and map for more information.

Courtesy, InciWeb.
Courtesy, InciWeb.

The Fish Fire is burning in short grass, timber -- litter, grass and understory -- including Ponderosa pine.

InciWeb describes the fire as "creeping," "group torching" and "isolated torching," and that small crown runs -- when fire spreads across tree canopies -- may occur at ridge tops and in areas where slope and/or winds align.

Fire behavior should be minimal to moderate in the next couple of days because the forecasted weather shows average to above average temperatures, relative humidity and winds along with fuel moisture being near average.

While rain is forecast in the area for Saturday and Saturday night, Sunday will be clear with hot and dry conditions persisting through the middle of next week. That has the potential to increase fire behavior, InciWeb said.

Agencies fighting the fire urge the public to not fly drones in the area. “'If You Fly, We Can’t'” campaign emphasizes the serious risks posed to firefighter and public safety from unauthorized drone flights during wildfire suppression operations," InciWeb said.

Smoke may be seen in the area, and fire officials ask the public to use caution while driving in the event of smoky conditions.

Motorists should exercise caution and slow down while driving on Highway 585. The road remains, but they should be aware of possible smoke and of firefighters working in the area.

For information on possible or potential road closures, visit the Wyoming Department of Transportation website.


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