We were so close to getting through this fire season without a wildfire on Casper Mountain. This afternoon a large plume of smoke rose steadily from the mountain. It seems to have erupted very quickly, probably the result of steady winds. Right now, as the sun sets, the wind is dying down and we are hoping and praying this gives firefighters time to get a jump on the fire.
There are many private homes and cabins up there. I’ve heard the East End Road and Crimson Dawn area are being evacuated. A friend with a cabin near Bear Trap Meadow tells me the fire is southeast of Bear Trap, moving in an easterly direction.
In 2006 we had a significant fire on the west end of Casper Mountain. The area is very rugged and fire fighting efforts were no match for the terrain, winds, and heavy fuels. It got everyone’s attention and many are aware the forest on the east end is ripe for fire and fuel loads are high.
There has been a concerted effort to help homeowners on Casper Mountain learn how to protect their property with firebreaks, etc. I was on the mountain Friday and I could see that many land owners had thinned the trees and brush around their cabins.
So tonight we are praying for all the folks evacuating the mountain, the firefighters and first responders, that you will all be safe.