Green River Star -


Fire stopped east of Rock Springs


October 25, 2017

The Sweetwater County Fire Department, along with firefighters from other jurisdictions, battled a 400-acre wildland fire east of Rock Springs Sunday evening.

According to Mike Bournazian, the county's fire warden, the fire was located along the railroad tracks between Interstate 80 mile markers 152 and 158. It started when a railroad crew was cutting rail as part of the track maintenance.

"Even with all their precautions in place, it only took one spark in 50 mph winds with low relative humidity and very dry fuels to take off in the blink of an eye and become a raging wildfire," Bournazian said.

A total of 11 wildland fire engines and five water tenders from the county fire department, Rock Springs Bureau of Land Management, Sweetwater County Fire District No. 1, Carbon County Fire Department and the Wamsutter Fire Department were on scene.

The fire was contained early Monday afternoon, with firefighters from the county fire department and Rock Springs BLM on hand throughout the day.

Bournazian said the firefighters were working to put out hundreds of railroad ties along the railroad's right-of-way, which were left over from previous work conducted on the railroad. Aside from the railroad ties, some wooden fence posts and a power pole, no structures were damaged by the fire. Visibility along I-80 was restricted as a result of smoke generated by the growing fire.

Bournazian said he was grateful for additional assistance provided by the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Wyoming Department of Transportation, the county sheriff's office.


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