Fire Threats to Ramp Up Heading into Father’s Day Weekend

June 18th, 2021
The heat wave will strike one last time on Saturday as temperatures rise into the mid to upper...
The heat wave will strike one last time on Saturday as temperatures rise into the mid to upper 90s for much of the state and the winds pick up as well. Fire Weather Watches are in effect for much of Northern Wyoming until 8:00 pm MDT Saturday.(KGWN)
Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 11:47 AM CDT
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The end of the heat wave is almost here for us in Wyoming. Some locations like Cheyenne are beginning to see that this afternoon as more cloud cover is expected as we roll into Father’s Day Weekend. More storm activity can also be expected as we head into the fourth week of June, though it likely will not be enough to relieve the drought conditions that have plagued Wyoming since the middle of summer in 2020. Before cooler conditions arrive just in time for Father’s Day on Sunday, however, fire risks are going to be quite high with the heat wave going out with one last hoorah.

Fire weather watches are in effect for most of Northeast Wyoming until 8:00 pm on Saturday evening. While conditions are a lot cooler today after a slightly breezy Thursday, even stronger breezes out of the west-northwest are expected Saturday afternoon, especially in the northern half of the state. Not only will those breezes fuel a fire threat with temperatures hanging in the mid to upper 90s on Saturday afternoon, they will blowing in smoke from the Robertson Draw fire which is just north of the Wyoming/Montana border near Yellowstone. The fire is currently over 24,000 acres in size with 0% containment. The Robinson fire south of Buffalo, however, which has been responsible for haze in the Casper area the past few days thanks to northerly winds, is only a little over 1000 acres and basically contained according to firefighters.

Wind speeds Saturday afternoon are expected to be in the 20-30 mph sustained with gusts over 40 mph being possible. This will allow for fires to spread easily and unfortunately could lead to the Robertson Draw Fire to grow even further. The southeastern part of the state will not see winds that are as strong, however, and will actually have a decent chance for storms during the late afternoon and early evening hours. Some storms could be strong to severe, and the possibility for dry thunderstorms remains in the region and along the Colorado border as well. The severe risk for the region is a Level 1 “Marginal” at this time.

Saturday is also the final day of this heat wave as mid to upper 70s and a few lower 80s return on Sunday for Father’s Day. Storm chances are ramping up for Father’s Day as well thanks to a cold front expected to move through Wyoming late Sunday afternoon and through the overnight hours into Monday. Rain looks to move through the middle of the state as the late afternoon and early evening hours draw on while the storms likely won’t arrive in Cheyenne until sunset or shortly thereafter. The cooler conditions will hang around though Monday before above average conditions (though not as warm as this week) will return on Tuesday and even more so on Wednesday.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

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