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New fire near Glendo grows to 8,000 acres

New fire near Glendo grows to 8,000 acres

Jul 17, 2012 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A wildfire started on a Wyoming National Guard training area forced the partial evacuation of Glendo State Park, about 100 miles north of Cheyenne.

An unknown number of campers and visitors on the east side of the park were evacuated Sunday night and moved to the west side of the reserve, which remains open, according to Domenic Bravo, administrator of the state Parks, Historic Sites and Trails Division.

"There wasn't a lot of folks that we had to evacuate," Bravo said Monday. "There was good handful though."

Glendo is northwest of Guernsey State Park, which was evacuated and closed this summer because of another wildfire, which was human caused. Guernsey has since reopened.

Glendo Park includes Glendo Reservoir, which is a popular destination for boaters and has more than 400 campsites.

The Sawmill Canyon fire burning in the area began Saturday on Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center land, which is operated by the Wyoming Guard.

The fire had burned about 11 square miles of rough terrain mixed with trees and grass by Monday afternoon, or about 8,000 acres.

About 180 firefighters aided by helicopters and heavy air tankers managed to gain about 30 percent containment of the blaze.

The area, which includes an artillery range, was being used for training this past weekend, Guard spokeswoman Deidre Forster said.

Forster said she didn't know what types of drills were occurring or what units were involved. The area is used for training by various agencies, including the U.S. military, police units, as well as by the Wyoming Guard.

State Forester Bill Crapser said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

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