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Swede Fire grows to 1,500 acres; Will be allowed to burn, say officials

The Swede Fire on the North Fork of the Shoshone River will be allowed to burn to remove trees killed by beetles. The Swede Fire on the North Fork of the Shoshone River will be allowed to burn to remove trees killed by beetles. Photo courtesy Sandi Fisher

The Swede Fire on the North Fork of the Shoshone River had grown to 1,500 acres by Sunday.

Lightning ignited the fire that was reported Wednesday by a member of the Shoshone National Forest fire crew, said Kristie Salzmann, Shoshone spokesperson.

Following a night-time infrared flight and a flight over the fire Sunday morning, Shoshone National Forest personnel were able to calculate the most recent size to 1,500 acres, Salzmann said.

The fire is ablaze in the Burned Timber and Swede creeks area within the Elk Fork Creek drainage, about 57 miles west of Cody.

The fire remains deep in the Washakie Wilderness. No structures are threatened, Salzmann said.

The fire is being managed for resource benefit, meaning the fire is being allowed to burn to remove beetle-killed timber. Burning the dead trees will allow new trees to grow.

“It is doing some good ecologically back there,” Salzmann said.

The fire is not contained, but it is partially surrounded by rock faces, Salzmann said.

Shoshone National Forest personnel held a public meeting to discuss the fire yesterday (Monday) afternoon at the Wapiti Elementary School west of Cody.

Smoke will likely continue to be visible in the North Fork and South Fork corridors of the Shoshone River, Salzmann said in a news release Sunday.

For more information on the Swede Fire, or any other wildland fires on the Shoshone National Forest, follow the Shoshone on Twitter at @ShoshoneNF, go to inciweb.nwcg.gov or visit their website at www.fs.usda.gov/shoshone.

Salzmann asked campers to exercise safe campfire etiquette by never leaving campfires unattended and completely extinguishing their fire before leaving. Extinguished fires should be cold to the touch, she said.

Bighorns Roane Creek Fire 23 acres

The Roane Creek Fire in the Big Horn Mountains about 30 miles east of Lovell was 23 acres Sunday, according to Susan Douglas, Bighorn National Forest spokesperson.

Lightning caused the fire, she said.

Estimated containment was today (Tuesday) Douglas said.

There were 95 personnel, including three helicopters, one water tender, three 20-person hand crews (San Juan and Tatanka hotshots and a type 2 crew), other firefighters and personnel supporting the aircraft and the crews Monday, Douglas said.

No structures are threatened, she said.

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