Developing: Tannerite-Caused Fire Forces Evacuations in Western Wyoming
Campers were evacuated from several areas in Sublette County on Saturday as crews responded to a new wildfire.
As of 5:30 p.m., the areas of Boulder Lake, Burnt Lake, Meadow Lake, Timico Trail and Boulder Lake Estates had been evacuated. Sgt. Travis Bingham told K2 Radio News that there was not yet an estimate on the size of the fire.
Bingham said the fire was caused by one or more people shooting at Tannerite, an exploding target for firearms.
On its Facebook page, the sheriff's office described the fire as being located "on the upper side of Boulder toward Burnt Lake."
Multiple fixed-wing aircraft known as 'very large air tankers' -- DC-10 planes capable of dropping up to 8,000 gallons of fire retardant per load -- responded to the fire Saturday afternoon, Bingham added. Numerous fire crews were working the blaze as well.
The American Red Cross of Wyoming opened an evacuation center at the LDS Church in Pinedale, located at 221 E. North St.
The sheriff's office advised on its Facebook page that crews are actively fighting the fire and its dispatch center is flooded with calls regarding the blaze. The sheriff's office asked people to refrain from calling in about the fire, of which authorities are already aware, which would tie up resources.
The use of exploding rifle targets has contributed to at least one other wildfire in the last year. It took firefighters a week to get control of the 47,000-acre Sawmill Fire in Arizona, which began after a Border Patrol agent used Tannerite during a gender reveal party.
Much of Wyoming, largely the southwest corner, remained under a red flag warning on Saturday. That means weather conditions are extremely conducive to new wildfires, so burning and other activity that poses any fire risk is strongly discouraged.
This story will be updated as additional details become available.