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Wyoming News Briefs AUGUST 21


August 15, 2019

Crews contain fire started by exploding targets

JACKSON (WNE) — Crews continued mopping up the Tannerite Fire southeast of Pinedale this week as evacuations lifted for 60-some homes threatened by the human-caused fire.

Firefighters had the 1,340-acre fire 70 percent contained Tuesday. Although they successfully held containment lines, a few actively burning spots still proved challenging.

“Crews are still finding heat in the aspen stands, but the control lines around the perimeter of the fire have been mopped up 100 feet in and are holding,” said Nan Stinson, a public information officer with the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The fire ignited at 12:52 p.m. Saturday on Bureau of Land Management property, and BLM is taking the lead in the investigation. Although it still under investigation, the cause is no secret.

Firefighters named the Tannerite Fire after the brand name for the explosive ingredient.

“They named it after the cause, so that’s unusual,” said Sgt. Travis Bingham, a public information officer for the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S. Forest Service started banning the use of exploding targets on national forests, including the Bridger-Teton, in 2017.

The ban is set to expire next July 15.

The BLM issued a fire prevention order on Aug. 1 for BLM lands in Wyoming, prohibiting the use of explosives, including exploding targets, fireworks, certain firearms and other hazardous materials.

On Tuesday the BLM’s Wyoming office posted a reminder on Facebook: “Wildfires caused by improper shooting practices can cause very costly damage to public lands and private structures.”


Colorado man killed in wreck near Wheatland

WHEATLAND (WNE) — On Aug. 17 a fatal crash occurred around milepost 78 on Interstate 25 near Wheatland, Wyoming.

Around 10:03 a.m., Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched to the area for a one-vehicle rollover.

A 2005 Jeep Liberty was traveling northbound on Interstate 25 when the driver lost control of the vehicle due to an apparent tire issue. The Jeep exited the right side of the roadway and overturned.

The driver of the Jeep has been identied as 26-year-old Fort Lupton, Colo. resident Mariano Perez Solis. Solis was wearing his seatbelt and succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the crash.

Equipment failure is being investigated as a possible contributing factor.

This is the 105th fatality on Wyoming’s roadways in 2019 compared to 67 in 2018, 95 in 2017, and 74 in 2016 to date.


Family identifies man thought to have died in Alice Lake

AFTON (WNE) — Though authorities have not yet released his name officially, the family of Schuyler McKnight announced via Facebook and a GoFundMe page that the 21-year old man is believed to have drowned in Alice Lake in recent days.

Another post on the Community Board for Kemmerer, Diamondville and surrounding areas stated that in addition to the page, which has a stated goal of $5,000, the Kemmerer coal mine has agreed to “match any monetary donations made to John McKnight and his family by union members.

Members of the Lincoln County Search and Rescue, based out of Kemmerer, and the Star Valley Search and Rescue reported a search for a kayaker who was reported missing on Monday, Aug 12, at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Sheriff Shane Johnson stated at the time that the terrain was not easy to get into and was presenting some challenges for those in the search.


Sheridan council delays final vote on air service deal

SHERIDAN (WNE) — Sheridan City Council tabled a vote on entering into an air service agreement with Sheridan County Monday.

Sheridan city attorney Brendon Kerns told council the city and county attempted to negotiate the agreement on an accelerated timeline to accommodate the other entities involved with the changing local air service, but could not settle the terms of the deal in time. Council members indicated they were not comfortable approving the agreement until it has been fully fleshed out.

Earlier this month, Sheridan County Commission approved a memorandum of understanding with the Wyoming Department of Transportation indicating the county’s participation in WYDOT’s Commercial Air Service Improvement Plan. The plan aims to improve commercial air service in Wyoming’s “critical air service communities” by bundling those communities into a contract between WYDOT and SkyWest Airlines.

Sheridan County’s MOU with WYDOT was initially contingent on the city of Sheridan agreeing to split the cost of partnering with SkyWest.

Kerns said the two local entities have the broad outline of an MOU, but still need to cement the details.

“Based on the conversations that I’ve had with the county…there are really some issues that need to be fleshed out between the county and the city,” Kerns said. “And these aren’t adversarial, it’s more of a planning thing.”


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