This photo of the Keystone fire burning on the Medicine Bow National Forest near Rob Roy Reservoir was taken July 5, two days after the fire started. Rob Roy supplies Cheyenne with its drinking water. (Inciweb)

A team of 567 persons is battling the Keystone Fire west of Laramie and Cheyenne — the only major wildfire currently reported in Wyoming. At mid-week, the blaze had covered 2,264 acres with a fire line constructed around 15 percent of its perimeter.

Firefighters on the Medicine Bow National Forest are seeking to suppress the lightning-caused blaze, detected July 3. Located 7 miles west of Albany, it may burn through the end of August, according to estimates at the federal InciWeb wildfire online clearinghouse.

Most of the fire line has been built on the side closest to the Rob Roy Reservoir, which is about a third of a mile from the edge of the burned area. The reservoir provides drinking water to Cheyenne.

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The city’s water has not been affected by the fire, said Dena Egenhoff, a spokeswoman for the municipal board of public utilities. Although the city has a plan for post-fire management, and a team will assess implications of the burn once it’s out, “there’s always concerns about if there’s enough water.”

It’s too early to tell whether water supplies might be affected in the future, Egenhoff said, because so much depends on unpredictable seasonal precipitation.

This Photo Friday was corrected to note the proper location of the fire west of both Laramie and Cheyenne — Ed.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

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