Natrona County Wildfire Started in Landfill Woodchip Pile

NPS Climate Change Response; Flickr
Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo.- A wildfire that destroyed 12 homes, killed livestock and pets and displaced more than 1,300 people began in a landfill’s woodchip pile.

The Casper Star Tribune reports that the exact cause of the blaze that ripped through Wyoming’s Natrona County this weekend is unclear, but it started with woodchips in a Casper landfill.

Camera images recorded flames coming from the pile after employees went home Saturday. Casper Fire Chief Kenneth King said there was “lots of fire” when firefighters arrived.

They dumped 300,000 gallons of water on the blaze and eventually put out the flames, but the piles continued to burn overnight. By the next afternoon, the fire had spread to nearby grass.

The county fire marshal says high winds combined with thick, dry grass and hot temperatures to create ideal fire conditions.