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Owen Fire containment stalls at 80 percent

Jul 14, 2014 - The Associated Press

The fire is burning slowly in rough terrain, and no further spread is expected.

LARAMIE -- A wildfire burning in southeast Wyoming may not be fully contained until the end of the month, but there's enough containment now to allow fire crews and equipment to be demobilized.

The fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest is directly north of Lake Owen and southwest of Laramie. Firefighters have limited it to less than a square mile of burned area since it began on Monday and mop-up operations are underway.

The fire is 80 percent contained, and officials say full containment will take until the end of the month because the uncontained area is in rough terrain.

Some 175 firefighters supported by helicopters battled the fire, but those resources were drawn down Friday.

The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation. Lightning is a strong possibility, but no conclusions have been reached.

The fire was downgraded to Type 4 on Saturday morning, meaning it is not considered a complicated fire site and requires few resources to manage.

Site management will transition to the Storm Peak Wildland Fire Module from Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Forest Road 540, Lake Owen and the Day-Use Areas remain closed for firefighter and public safety.

The Medicine Bow Rail Trail is closed between Forest Road 517 on the north and Lincoln Gulch Trailhead on the south.

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