Downed power lines caused by wind gusts in excess of 60 mph kept the Campbell County Fire Department (CCFD) hopping Wednesday evening with back-to-back fires, one of which is still burning.
CCFD responded to reports of a timber fire on Bowers Ute Road, approximately two miles from the Montana state line, around 4:45 p.m. The fire was ignited by a fallen power line that was fueled by excessive winds.
Due to the hazardous winds, topography and terrain, CCFD pulled their crews off the fire last night after it had spread to approximately 5 acres for the sake of the safety of the firefighters who were also joined by a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) crew, according to CCFD Battalion Chief Bryan Borgialli.
“It wasn’t worth the risk of anyone getting hurt,” he said Thursday morning.
As of 7 a.m., the fire was still uncontained, and CCFD crews were getting ready to head back out Thursday morning to tackle the fire.
A second grass fire that started in a wood pile on Bay Horse Road at 5:22 p.m. Wednesday was quickly contained, before CCFD was called to a second grassfire on Hall Road about five minutes later.
This fire was caused by yet another fallen power line and was contained at around 5 acres.
Borgialli urged caution about potential downed power lines throughout the county.
“Winds like this test the power grid,” he said, noting that people should never approach a downed line but rather call their respective power company to have them come look at it.
Updates on the burning fire will be provided as soon as they become available.