The Saratoga Sun -

Encampment River Valley fire

 

Encampment firefighters work to stop the upward spread of the Encampment River Valley fire Sunday.

Smoke lay over the town of Encampment Sunday and streets there were lined with residents watching and photographing flames spreading through grass and sagebrush up the Encampment River Valley about a mile southeast of Encampment.

According to his wife, Sandy, Jeff Streeter was out in the field below the family yurt bucking hay bales when he heard an explosion.

The resulting fire devastated the dwelling and spread through the Encampment River Valley where firefighters chased the fire uphill straining the limits of their hoses.

The fire, which has burned an estimated 200 acres, was first reported around 1 p.m. Sunday. Elements of Encampment, Saratoga, Ryan Park, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service fire teams were on site responding to the blaze shortly thereafter.

Sandy Streeter was seen at the charred remains of the yurt Sunday afternoon and though obviously saddened, she was thankful no one was hurt in the fire.

At 3:15 Sunday the nearby Oddfellows campground and adjoining private residences were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Fires dot the Encampment River Valley.

According to Encampment Fire Chief Corey Nuhn, the suspected cause of the fire was a propane leak at the residence.

Three single engine airplane tankers worked to combat the fire along with a spotter plane and a helicopter doing bucket work.

By around 6:30 p.m. chief Nuhn said Oddfellows area residents were being allowed back to their homes. As of Monday morning Nuhn reported that BLM and the Forest Service were mopping up the area with the aid of an Encampment fire engine.

The public is urged to use caution or avoid fire areas since fire behavior can change rapidly and fire spread is unpredictable if high winds develop.

The Bureau of Land Management requests all wildfires be reported immediately to the Rawlins Dispatch Center at 1-800-295-9953 or to emergency 911.

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