Fire crews and aircraft continue their battle against the third fire in the Laramie Peak area this month. The Arapaho fire, which was one of three fires believed to have been ignited by lightning in the Laramie Peak area, has now consumed more than 5,000 acres. It’s burning on Forest Service and private lands between Laramie Peak and Bearhead Mountain. It’s just a few miles from the recent Cow Camp fire.

The fire has produced a large smoke column that can be seen from Interstate 25 near Wheatland. Friday afternoon, evacuation orders were issued for people living in the path of the growing wildfire. Evacuation orders were initiated in the Cottonwood Park, Friend Park, North Laramie Trailhead and Harris Park areas.

Emergency personnel are now focusing on alerting residents and protecting structures in the path of the fire. A helicopter that had been working the nearby Russell’s Camp fire has been repositioned to help battle the Arapaho fire.

Fire crews will again face hot and dry conditions with wind gusts of up to 20 miles per hour.

In western Wyoming, a fire burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest remains out of control. The Fontenelle fire is burning in Lincoln and Sublette Counties, about 33 miles northwest of LaBarge. It’s burning on Forest Service, BLM and private lands, and has grown to more than 38,000 acres. More than 250 personnel are fighting the fire, and report the blaze is now five percent contained. The fire also shut down gas, oil and helium production in the area.