A wildfire on the far north boundary of Albany County and on the Medicine Bow National Forest is much larger than initially thought.

The U.S. Forest Service says the La Bonte Canyon Fire has been sized at 455 acres as of Friday evening. The fire, which was discovered Thursday afternoon, was originally thought to be around 76 acres.  However, more accurate aerial mapping was available Friday, and it painted a clearer picture of the situation.

The La Bonte Canyon Fire is burning in mixed conifer and is about a half mile south of the Converse County line. Terrain is rugged in the area, which is approximately 35 miles southwest of Douglas, Wyo., in the Laramie Range.

Curtis Gulch Campground, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is one mile west of the fire and was evacuated Thursday evening. An emergency area closure has been put in place by the Forest Service and includes the campground, La Bonte Canyon Road, as well as multiple other area roads and trails.

Weather forecasts in the area expect moderate temperatures, low winds, and possible rain—conditions favorable for minimal fire growth.

So far, the fire has remained on National Forest lands, but private lands are in close proximity in Converse County to the north. No structures are immediately threatened.

The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.

The U.S. Forest Service is managing this fire with a full suppression strategy.

According to the Forest Service, 50 personnel are currently assigned to the fire, including one Type II crew and multiple engines.  Air resources include two helicopters and two single-engine airtankers. The State of Wyoming, local agencies, and the USFS have all committed resources to the fire. Air attack will continue as weather and smoke conditions allow.

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