Mandatory evacuations for parts of Albany and Platte counties were issued Wednesday by emergency management agencies as the Britania Fire continues burning west of Wheatland.
Residents living in the Palmer Canyon Road area in northeastern Albany County and north into the Green Mountain area are being evacuated to a center in Wheatland at the Services for Seniors Annex, 809 16th St. Those evacuating are being asked to call 307-322-3279 if they are unable to make it to the senior center.
Aimee Binning, Albany County Emergency Management Coordinator, said there are around 50 people in the evacuation area on the Albany County side. The Wheatland Rural Electric Association shut off power for the Palmer Canyon area in Albany County, which affects residents outside of the evacuation area, Binning said.
“It includes people almost all the way to Rock River,” she said.
Around 150 customers are expected to be affected by the outage, Binning said. The power could be off for as long as two weeks, depending on fire activity, she said.
The Britania Fire continues growing, reaching around 20,180 acres as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. At that time, it was at 23 percent containment. Binning said there were 259 personnel attending to the fire at that time, with authorities bringing in a Type 2 team that took over operations on Wednesday morning. Depending on how things go, Binning said there could be up to 600 people on the scene.
The Platte County Record-Times reported the fire had grown to 18,800 acres on Tuesday morning, a jump from just more than 13,000 acres on Monday. It followed a red flag warning issued Monday afternoon by the National Weather Service in Cheyenne advising there would be low humidity and strong winds.
Unlike the Badger Creek Fire in southwestern Albany County on federal land earlier this summer, the Britania Fire started on private property, affecting some state land and a small amount of federal land, Binning said. As such, it’s being managed by state and local authorities. Binning said the fire started from natural causes.
Binning said those looking to contribute to the effort can donate money to their local fire departments.
“Fire departments always need money to purchase new equipment and clothing and provide training, so monetary donations are great,” she said.