Sheep Herder Hill Fire

Casper Mountain is on fire. It’s been 6 years since the last major fire there. And we have all been holding our breath, this season, and waiting for snow.

  • first smoke appeared 8/9/12 about 4pm
  • aerial attack began using single engine agriculture type aircraft
  • on 8/10 the fire blows up
  • it spots up to a mile in front of the main fire
  • winds are high and gusty
  • fire spreads from 500 acres to 15000
  • large number of people given evacuation order
  • DC-10 tanker and flying crane helicopters attack fire
  • cold front approaches
  • 50mph gusting to 60mph wind shift forecast
  • front brings lightning, rain and no wind
  • no wind? In Casper? unbelievable!
  • the fire turns from an out of control killer to almost manageable

We are not out of the woods yet. There’s still the equivalent of millions of glowing matches and thousands of camp fires spread across the mountain. Any one of them could give the monster life. There’s lots of property is still at risk. But there’s been no loss of life! And I think the worst is over.

Images

Here are a few images taken from my front yard over the last several days. The last 10 images were taken by Casper Star Tribune, our local paper. For more images and text, check out their photo galleries.

Parting Thoughts

  • man’s efforts are minuscule when nature is that far out of control
  • it’s no small thing for a fire fighter or pilot to risk their lives fighting such a wild, dangerous, fire
  • a DC-10 full of slurry, flying those mountain canyons, dirty and at minimum speed is a fearful sight, especially for a old pilot like myself
  • the helicopters and single engine aircraft provide close support hour after hour, like bees buzzing around a hive. Incredible
  • 290 men and 22 aircraft are working the fire. Thanks guys
  • if the forecast winds had come, my house and a good part of Casper would have burned
  • thank God when things get tough someone bigger than self has the training and assets to handle such a dangerous situation
  • haven’t heard much from the locals about Federal Government intrusion, private property rights or the bull-headed rugged individualism so prominent in the western mentality
  • it’s good to be a citizen of these United States

-dBguy