KKTY NEWS June '12 Archive


(Sat 6/23/12) - As expected, a rough day on the mountain... firefighters on the Russell's Camp Fire in southwestern Converse County had to deal with 35 mile an hour winds, temperatures near 90 and humidity levels in the low single digits on Saturday. The fire showed crown runs, group torching, long range spotting and surface flame lengths of greater than 12 feet. Strong winds are combining with rugged terrain features to produce constantly changing fire behavior conditions, and numerous spots on the northeast side of the fire breached established containment lines. The total number of personnel fighting the fire has grown to 582... the Russell's Camp fire is now listed at 3905 acres, with just 10 percent containment.

(Thu 6/21/12) - Firefighters report a relatively quiet day in battling a wildfire burning in a remote and mountainous area of the Medicine Bow National Forest in east-central Wyoming. The Russell's Camp fire is located about 30 miles south of Glenrock and has burned 2700 acres, about 4 square miles since Sunday. Containment's listed at just 5%, but officials say cooler temperatures helped quell fire activity Wednesday. Heavy equipment arrived and began working in areas north of the fire. Helibase was moved from Douglas airport to a location closer to fire. Additional water sources have been identified that should improve helicopter operations. There are almost 400 firefighters and six helicopters assigned to the fire.

(Fri 6/20/12) - A 22-year-old Casper man has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual abuse of a minor, kidnapping and larceny in the abduction of a Glenrock girl from her bedroom last month. Robert J. Parks entered the pleas in Converse County District Court in a brief hearing Tuesday morning. His trial will be set at a later date. Police say they have biological evidence and an identification card belonging to Parks that link him to the crime. Authorities issued an Amber Alert after the 2-year-old girl was discovered missing sometime after 3 a.m. on May 19. She was found alive early that afternoon in an abandoned Jeep that had been reported stolen. If convicted on all counts, Parks could face up to life in prison.

BBQ'd Bunny - Sunday's fire burned the hill that Douglas's Jackalope silhouette lives on.

(Sun 6/17/12, 7pm) - Fire crews fighting two wildfires in Converse County this afternoon. One close to Douglas started in the I-25 median at mp 142... that's two miles north and west of the west Douglas exit. DVFD Incident Commander Mike James says they found about three places where the fire started, indicating that it was caused by a passing vehicle throwing off sparks, perhaps a chain dragging. Jumped the interstate, jumped WY 93, burned about two miles along the south side of the river north of the Law Enforcement Academy... jumped the river to the north side just west of the Twin Bridges on the 59 bypass. That fire was contained by about 6:30pm, with no loss of structures and no reported injuries. Still some smoke plumes inside the fire area... that's mop-up work, which is underway.

Sunday's fire just northwest of town...

The other fire that's putting up a big plume this afternoon is south on Cold Springs Road, north of the Albany County line near the Campbell Creek Campground. It's roughly 30 air miles southwest of Douglas, and it looks to be in US Forest Service territory. No estimate on the size of either fire.

(Thu 6/14/12) - The Guernsey State Park Fire is now at 95 percent containment. At 6:00 p.m. tonight, Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team C will transfer management of the Guernsey State Park Fire to Platte County Firefighters. Hand crews and engines continued mop up operations yesterday and were supported by one Type 2 helicopter and two Type 3 helicopters doing water bucket drops.

There are a few spots burning well within the fire perimeter and over the next several days. Small plumes of smoke may be visible within the fire boundary. Residents and visitors are urged to refrain from taking any action in extinguishing these small smoke plumes. You may notify local authorizes if with your concerns.

Persons with cabins, boats or private property inside Guernsey State Park can now be escorted in and out of the Park to collect their property or check on their cabins. Also, beginning Friday June 15th, the State Park intends to allow persons who have reservations for the following campgrounds access for this weekend: Sandy Beach, Sandy Point, Sandy Cove, West Sandy and Cottonwood Cove. Long Canyon Campground, accessed only through Hartville due to road closures, will also be open beginning Friday June 15th. Over 424 local and agency firefighters from around the region have worked on this fire.

(Thu 6/14/12) - Law enforcement officials have captured an escaped prison inmate. Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp inmate James Friesen has been apprehended. Friesen was placed on escape status Monday morning, June 11th after he was found missing from the WHCC at Newcastle where he was incarcerated. Weston County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday evening at about 7:50 pm that Friesen had been apprehended by Weston County Sheriff's Deputy Dereck Thompson in Pennington County, S. D. Friesen will be turned over to Pennington County Sheriff's Department as he was apprehended in South Dakota. The Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp, a minimum security facility, is still on partial lock down status. By policy, the Wyoming Department of Corrections is conducting an internal investigation, which is in progress.

(Sun 6/9/12) - Firefighters continued to battle a wind-driven wild fire on the south end of Guernsey Reservoir. Guernsey State Park was evacuated Saturday evening as a new blaze torched the prairies on the south end of the lake. Fire is estimated at 4000 acres by Sunday night. Platte County Emergency Management says there's still a possiblility that they may have to evacuate the towns of Guernsey and Hartville, and if they do, the emergency sirens will sound.

Acting Governor, Senate President Jim Anderson, has activated the Wyoming National Guard to assist in fighting the wildfire. Senator Anderson is Acting Governor while Governor Matt Mead is in China and Secretary of State Max Maxfield is outside of Wyoming. Sunday afternoon three UH-60Black Hawk helicopters and their support teams arrived in Guernsey. They were able to start dumping water on the fire this evening. Also in the area are Guard members helping to notify residents of possible evacuations. The 41 Wyoming National Guard troops onsite and working in support of the mission also include 9 firefighters manning two fire trucks.

WY270: Closed BOTH DIRECTIONS between Guernsey and Manville.

(Sun 6/10/12) - Fire lines at the Cow Camp Fire have held strong and withstood intense winds both Saturday night and Sunday. Mop up operations are in full swing and personnel numbers have been decreased. 320 personnel are now on-hand at the incident. Acreage is at 8,492 acres and containment is now at 90 percent. Crews have begun to be demobilized and redirected from the fire to others in the area. Firefighters will continue mop-up work along the fire edge looking for hot spots and fortifying fire line along the perimeter.

Several road closures are still in place to the north, south and east of the fire area.

(Sat 6/9/12) - Another major wildfire is burning in Platte County. Guernsey State Park was evacuated Saturday evening as a new blaze torched the prairies near the Park. The Platte County Sheriff's Office had no estimate of the size of the wild fire, only characterizing it as "huge". The Sheriff's office also said some homes west of the Park have also been evacuated. WyDot has closed HIghway 26 from the highway 320 intersection... that's the old Wheatland Highway, east into Guernsey. The first call on the fire at Guernsey came in to the Platte County Sheriff's Office at about 4pm Saturday, and there's no word on how big the fire is or how it was started.

(Sat 6/9/12) - The Cow Camp Fire Lines seem to be holding up. Containment jumped to 70% on Saturday. Acreage under fire has increased slightly to 8,473 acres and containment is now up to 70 percent. 363 personnel remain on-hand at the incident, including 11 hand crews, one Type I helicopter, two Type III helicopters, and four Single Engine Airtankers. Crews could begin to be redirected from the fire to others in the area. Several road closures are still in place to the north, south and east of the fire area.

(Wed 6/6/12) - Another 2000 acres since Tuesday evening. Hot, windy weather has blown a wildfire in northern Albany County up to an estimated 3500 acres. The Cow Camp Fire is approximately five miles southeast of Laramie Peak and is currently burning on the Medicine Bow National Forest and private lands. Estimation of fire size remains difficult due to rough terrain. Perimeter was flown on Tuesday morning to get a more accurate size. As of Tuesday, 120 crew members were on scene, including two Type III helicopters. Air attack was provided by a Type I airtanker from Colorado, as well as three single-engine airtankers. A dozer and hand crews worked to establish line. Air attack was effective on Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday as the weather allows. Spotting did occur on Tuesday and the largest fire movement was into the wind, to the south, across the Laramie River. At this time there is no direct attack due to the terrain. Focus is on establishing a larger perimeter, especially to the south. One unoccupied cabin was burned on Tuesday. A total of 10 structures are within two miles of the fire. A thunderstorm did move through the area on Tuesday afternoon, but no rain resulted, only wind. The fire is east of Cottonwood Park Road, County Road 71 and south of County Road 716, the Fletcher Park Road. Both roads are still open, but manned by the Albany County Sheriff's Dept. Gusty winds in excess of 25 mph are currently pushing the fire in multiple directions and containment is at 30%. Weather forecasts in the area are calling for more hot, dry and windy conditions on Tuesday night and Wednesday, with low humidity. The fire was discovered Monday morning by Black Mountain Lookout and erratic fire behavior has been observed. Terrain in the remote area is rough and the fire is burning in grass, brush and mixed conifer. Lightning is suspected to have started the blaze and the initial focus of fire crews is full suppression.


And in Sports...

(Thu 6/21/12) - The High School Rodeo Season is winding down. Cowboys and cowgirls from around the state have their eyes set on and their pickups aimed for Douglas, where the 2012 Wyoming State High School Rodeo gets underway today. First performance of the first go-round is this morning at 9... performances 9am and 6:30pm today, Friday and Saturday, with the final short-go Sunday morning at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas.

(Thu 6/21/12) - The Douglas Cats B-squad split a pair with Rawlins last night. Rawlins won the opener, but Douglas came back and won the second Game 9 to 2. Josh Rupp scored two runs in the win for the cats. Cody Lebert and Zach Sloan pitched well only giving up 2 runs. The Cats A-team travels to Casper this evening to meet the Oilers. One nine-inning game at 5:30pm.

(Wed 6/6/12) -The Douglas Cats look like they've found their groove. The Cats won their 5th straight game last night, a 12 to 2 decision over the Gillette Rustlers at Nida Field. Dalton Cheever pitched a complete game and Tell and Tays Dyer got their first home runs. Douglas plays Casper Prep at Casper Thursday night. One nine-inning game... opening pitch tomorrow night at 5pm.

(Mon 6/4/12) - The Douglas Cats put together a successful weekend of American Legion baseball play, winning four in a row at the Casper Drillers Tournament. Douglas opened Friday with a 13-1 win over the Casper Roughnecks. Sam Malone had three hits and Dalton Cheever gave up only 3 hits in the win. Saturday morning the Cats beat Thompson Valley 8-4 with 4 Douglas runs in the seventh inning. Allen Holmes had three hits and the game winning RBI. Sam Malone pitched a complete game. Later Saturday, the Cats come back from 5 runs down and score 6 in the seventh to beat Rapid City Post 320 8 to 7. Nick White gets the win. Douglas won their 4th game in a row on Sunday, beating the Liberty Lancers 8 to 6. Marvin Malone got the win and Allen Holmes the save. The Cats host the Gillette Rustlers tonight... one 9-inning game tonight at 5:30 at Nida Field at the Douglas Rec Center.