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Newcastle Field Office
Release Date: 07/20/11
Contacts: Whoop Up Fire Information    
  (307) 746-2782    

Whoopup Fire Update No. 4

Current Fire Incidents:
     WhoopUp Fire – Type II team assigned– not contained – 5000+ acres 
     Schenk 1 Fire – controlled – Schenk Canyon - 1.5 acres 
     Schenk 2 Fire – controlled – Schenk Canyon – 1/10th acre 
     Hell Canyon Fire – controlled - 1/10th acre 
     458 Fire – controlled – 1/10th acre 
     Barrel Fire – not contained – 40+ acres 
     Sawmill Springs – not contained - 5 acres 
     Incident 11 not named or contained – near Jewel Cave National Monument – 1/10th acre

Newcastle, WY – Eight new fires from lightning strikes yesterday and this morning are taxing local firefighters.

Meanwhile crews made progress in containing the head of the Whoopup Fire, which earlier threatened 16 homes in Ferguson Canyon near Newcastle, Wyoming and on the South Dakota/Wyoming border. Fire engines and hand crews built fire line and burned out the fuel between the fire line and the fire to contain the northeast head of the fire this afternoon.

One homeowner described how the siding on his home smoked from the heat of the passing fire. South Dakota and Argyle volunteer firefighters saved his home, he said, with an aggressive attack with fire engines and foam. His own attempts to build fire line with a backhoe and garden hose were not successful.

More than 14 homes were evacuated last night in the Ferguson Canyon sub-division and two South Dakota resident homes south of highway 16.

A horse trailer and a utility trailer have been burned and one outbuilding, a shed or barn, was lost.

The fires are believed to be lightning-caused.

Two new fires located south of the Whoopup fire have been combined into one fire, the Barrel fire, now estimated at 40 acres, burning in the 2003 Red Point fire. Firefighters are assessing the threat to a structure located about a mile from a structure believed to be a home.

Joe Lowe’s Rocky Mountain Type II incident command team C from the Northern Great Plains will take command of the Whoopup fire at 6pm local time. The estimated size of that fire is over 5,000 acres. Fire behavior intensified as temperatures rose and winds increased in the middle afternoon, but moderated later in the day.

Firefighters continue to arrive in Newcastle. Heavy air tankers from Rapid City air tanker base are helping hold fire lines and suppressing new fires. Engines from Colorado and other states are assisting.

Leadership from Weston County, Wyoming, Custer County, South Dakota, the Bureau of Land Management’s Newcastle field office, the US Forest Service, and volunteer fire departments intend to put the fires out as safely and quickly as possible.

Special concerns include: high temperature, erratic winds, and flashy grass fuel. Rain last night was not sufficient to stop the fire and new lightning fires will continue to challenge fire resources.

Updates will be sent as more information is obtained. For more information see or or

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Newcastle Field Office   1101 Washington Boulevard      Newcastle, WY 82701-2968  

Last updated: 07-20-2011