A U.S. Forest Service (USFS) investigation has confirmed that lightning was the cause of the recently-contained Sensebaugh Fire. The wildfire was discovered last Thursday afternoon, July 11, and burned 211 acres in the extreme northwest corner of the Medicine Bow National Forest. It was announced 100% contained at the close of operations on July 15.
The fire was located in Natrona County, approximately 25 miles southeast of Casper, Wyo., in the Deer Creek Range.
Transition from a local Type III Incident Management Team to a USFS Type IV command (Storm Peak Wildland Fire Module) took place at 4 p.m. Monday. The module consists of nine crew members who will maintain surveillance on the fire and will continue mop-up.
The initial Type III organization consisted of team members from a wide variety of local organizations. Throughout the fire, resources were provided by the State of Wyoming, local agencies, Bureau of Land Management and the USFS.
At its’ height over 100 personnel were assigned to the fire, including Hot Shot crews and multiple engines. Air resources included three helicopters and two single-engine airtankers.
No structures were threatened or damaged and the fire did not damage a power line on the northwest flank. The entire acreage of the fire was on National Forest lands.
The fire was carried by heavy fuels and did not burn well in the moist grass and sagebrush. Fire officials believe a combination of circumstances ultimately stopped the fire from spreading, including a significant change in weather, fire movement into lighter fuels and immediate support from aerial resources.