CASPER, Wyo. — One building was lost and two people received medical treatment as a result of Wednesday’s 6 Mile Wildland Fire that also led to a business evacuation, the Natrona County Fire District said Thursday.
Mills Fire Chief-Investigator Wil Gay determined that sparks from cutting a metal pipe lit the fire, which burned less than an acre of land. The sparks were carried by the wind into dry grasses, and with added wind, the fire began to spread quickly, the fire district said in its news release. The person cutting the pipe tried to put the fire out with several extinguishers, but the fire quickly grew out of control and 911 was called.
One person who was trying to put out the initial fire inhaled smoke and was treated on scene and released by the Banner Health-Wyoming Medical Center ambulance. One first responder fighting the fire suffered heat exhaustion and was taken to the hospital, where they were admitted and later released, the fire district said. That first responder is “doing well,” the district reported.
One structure was “well involved” in the fire, Natrona County Fire District Chief Brian Oliver previously told Oil City News. The fire district confirmed Thursday that the building, a business’s shop filled with miscellaneous equipment, was lost.
“Evacuations were initiated at the True [North] Steel business located near the fire. [Natrona County Sheriff’s Office] deputies worked fast to alert the business and its employees, placing them in the ‘SET’ phase of the evacuation process. The evacuations were later lifted and the True Steel employees returned to work,” the release states.
The fire also led to a temporary closure of a section of North 6 Mile Road, but that closure was lifted by about 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office. The road closure was initially announced around 1:40 p.m. The wildland fire had been stopped as of 1:50 p.m. Wednesday.
Multiple fire district fire units responded to the scene. Deputies were also dispatched, along with Casper Fire-EMS units, Mills Fire Department units, and Bar Nunn Fire Department units, the fire district said.
“We would like to also remind everyone to never cut anything that can throw sparks or embers into fuels that can start a fire. Be sure the area you are cutting in is clear of any flammable materials that could start a fire, and that you have the proper means of extinguishment if a fire does start. Do not hesitate to call 911 if the fire does become out of control. It is also that time of year to make sure that you keep grasses cut short if you live in an area that has any potential for wildland fire. Prepare your property; defensible space is key to prevent a wildfire disaster,” the release states.