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Russell's Camp fire growing
Seen from a firefighting aircraft, the Russell's Camp has grown to about 5,000 acres. U.S. Forest Service

Western Wyoming has first big fire

Jun 26, 2012 - The Associated Press

Authorities have decided to try to extinguish the 300-acre Fontenelle Fire immediately.

CHEYENNE -- The first major wildfire of the season in western Wyoming has burned about 300 acres in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The Fontenelle Fire is located about 30 miles northwest of LaBarge and is burning in heavy and down timber. It was discovered late Sunday afternoon.

Forest spokeswoman Mary Cernicek says 18 firefighters and three helicopters are on the scene now, but more firefighters have been requested.

There are no structures in the vicinity, but Cernicek says fire managers have decided to fully suppress the fire.

In east-central Wyoming, about 620 firefighters are still working to contain a wildfire burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest.

The Russell's Camp fire has burned about 5,500 acres, or 8 square miles. It is 25 percent contained, and is expected to burn for months unless unforeseen rain arrives before fall.

As of Monday, the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland have implemented additional fire restrictions because of the dry, hot weather.

The Medicine Bow National Forest already has seen two large wildfires this year.

It is now illegal to build or use an open fire, campfire, stove fire or charcoal grill on the forest and grassland. Visitors may use petroleum fueled stoves, grills, or lanterns in areas that have been cleared of all vegetation for three feet on all sides.

Off-road vehicle use is no longer allowed except when parking in areas cleared of vegetation and as allowed on the applicable Motor Vehicle Use Map.

Smoking also is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

Red flag warnings are posted for most of the state.

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