SUBLETTE COUNTY, Wyo. — Sublette County firefighters have been busy recently. SCUF (Sublette County Unified Fire) responded to two structure fires within 33 hours of each other — one in Big Piney, and one in Boulder.

A garage fire was reported on Feb 2 at 1:16 a.m. in a single-story residence in Big Piney. Units from four Battalions across the county responded.

When they made the scene, it was obvious significant damage to the garage and its contents had already taken place. But firefighters were able to get a handle on the blaze before it could progress too far into the main portion of the home. While the smoke detectors did activate, the resident’s dog barking woke the sleeping resident even before the smoke detectors activated. The occupant (and, yes, the hero dog) were able to evacuate to safety.

Piney Drive fire in Big Piney consumed a garage but firefighters were able to prevent its spread into the main home. Photo: Courtesy SCUF

The next morning, a chimney fire was reported on Feb 3 at 9:53 a.m. in a two-story single-family dwelling in Boulder. Units from four battalions across the county responded.

Responders first on scene reported a working attic fire in progress. Residents were able to evacuate after smelling smoke and hearing smoke detectors going off. The fire was contained mostly to the area of origin thanks to a swift response and aggressive interior attack, even while a major winter storm raged outside.

Firefighters set up a water shuttle operation to ensure an ample supply of water for firefighting activities. Red Cross was contacted to assist the residents.

According to SCUF spokesperson and Battalion 2 Chief Mike Petty, firefighting credit also goes to crews from Sublette County Road and Bridge, EMS, Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, Sublette County Emergency Management, and responding utility companies.

“Not enough could ever be said for how well we rely on and all work together during incidents. The winter storm, depth of snow, wind and frigid temperatures added the usual complications—freezing lines, bad road conditions, icy working surfaces—for both incidents,” Petty said.

The cause of both of the fires is being attributed to wood stove piping. SCUF reminds residents to remember to have chimneys regularly cleaned and inspected, and to make sure the chimney is installed according to code. Proper inspections and cleaning by a licensed professional are essential to ensuring problems are caught early and won’t catch surrounding combustible materials on fire.