Two Wyoming Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, equipped with 600-gallon water buckets, were activated to fight the fires on Casper Mountain. The helicopters, 11 personnel and support vehicles left Cheyenne Monday afternoon for Natrona County, after being called to state active duty by Governor Matt Mead.
Also, a military liaison was dispatched to Teton County to coordinate possible assistance with fires in that area. A total of 12 Wyoming Army and Air National Guard troops were activated. The UH-60s are flown by the Wyoming Army National Guard’s C Company, 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment. This is the third Wyoming fire the unit has responded to this summer. The first was in Guernsey State Park, in early June, followed by fires in Weston County, in July. The unit was also activated to fight the Colorado wildfires, in June.
The Sheep Herder Hill Fire has burned at least six structures and forced some 500 people to be evacuated from Casper Mountain. Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser says still more structures may have been lost to the fire, which is located about 10 miles southeast of the Casper city limits. The fire began Sunday afternoon and winds have fanned the blaze to more than 15 square miles. More than 150 homes and cabins remain evacuated Monday. Crapser estimates about three-quarters are year-round homes and the rest are seasonal cabins.