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Firefighters contain more than 17,500-acre blaze south of Worland

POWELL (WNE) — A wildlife burned across 17,554 acres of short grass and brush south of Worland over the past week, but crews expected to have it fully contained by Monday night.

The Neiber Fire started on July 14 along the Neiber Road, about 7 miles south of the City of Worland on Bureau of Land Management and private property. While the official cause is listed as “unknown,” the BLM’s initial report on the fire said to “please do your part to prevent human-caused wildfires.”

Fueled by hot, dry conditions, the fire threatened critical sage grouse habitat, grazing areas and equipment in the Murphy Dome Oil Field.

However, fire managers said effective use of resources from the air and on the ground led to no oil and gas structures being lost.

Firefighters from Washakie and Hot Springs counties, the BLM and the Bighorn and Shoshone national forests were among the first to respond to the fire.

By Saturday morning, the Neiber Fire was 85% contained and some resources were released for other operations. After working to build a fire line in rugged terrain over the weekend, 100% containment was expected by the end of the day on Monday.

“Although threats from active fire on the Neiber Fire have passed, recreation in the affected area can still pose risks,” Wyoming Type 3 Incident Management Team cautioned in Monday’s release. “Loss of vegetation loosens soils and increases the risk of flash floods in rough terrain after rainfall. Ash settles and disguises natural ruts or holes in tracks, trails, and rangeland.”

They added that “fire danger in the area remains high and residents are encouraged to use caution.”