Jun 8, 2012 The Associated Press

Firefighters work to secure blaze

CHEYENNE -- Firefighters have contained about 15 percent of a 6,500-acre wildfire burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeast Wyoming.

Rain helped slow the growth of the Cow Camp fire on Thursday. Firefighters are working Friday to secure containment lines before extremely high winds anticipated for the area on Saturday.

The fire is burning about 20 miles northwest of Wheatland in mixed ponderosa pine, brush and grass. Lightning is suspected of starting it Sunday.

Elsewhere in Wyoming, firefighters have contained about 40 percent of a 1,600-acre fire burning in Weston County in northeast Wyoming.

Magagna gets US Forest Service job

CHEYENNE -- Jim Magagna of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association has been appointed to a federal advisory committee that will make recommendations on how to implement a U.S. Forest Service planning rule.

Magagna is executive vice president of the association. He will represent private landowners and grazing interests on the federal advisory committee.

The committee will provide feedback on the implementation of the planning rule to the U.S. secretary of agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service.

Bill speeds delivery of tanker planes

WASHINGTON -- The Senate has passed legislation to speed government contracts to modernize the aging fleet of Forest Service tanker planes that dump suppressants on Western wildfires.

The legislation would waive a 30-day waiting period that's required before the Forest Service can award contracts for seven new tankers. The agency has told Congress that it's made the decision to award the contracts but has to wait until late June to officially award the contracts. The House has yet to act on the measure.

Oregon Democratic Rep. Ron Wyden says the tankers wouldn't go into service for months but that it's important to move as quickly as possible following accidents last weekend that caused the loss of one of the 11 available air tankers and the grounding of another for repairs.

Vets opposed to return of bells

CHEYENNE -- Military veterans are stirred up and speaking out against the possibility that the U.S. might return three church bells seized as spoils of war from the Philippines more than a century ago.

Such a simple gesture would go a long way toward demonstrating goodwill to an old and steadfast U.S. ally in the west Pacific.

The U.S. veterans' opinion on returning the bells? Don't even think about it.

"We oppose the return of the bells, period," said John Stovall, director of national security and foreign relations for the national American Legion.

Two of the three Bells of Balangiga are displayed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. They're part of a memorial to 46 U.S. troops killed by Filipino insurgents in 1901.

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