Dec. 9 Fire destroys Ewing/Snell Ranch at Bighorn Canyon NRA
Thu, 12/17/2015 - 5:00am admin
Early in the afternoon on Dec. 9, the main house at the Ewing/Snell Ranch in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area caught on fire, resulting in the total loss of the structure.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined. The ranch area and Upper Layout Creek Trail are closed until further notice.
Scott Devore, Bighorn Canyon Park Ranger, was on patrol when he saw flames coming from the roof of the ranch house.
The Lovell, Wyo. Fire Department was dispatched, but the house was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived and they could not save the structure. Due to gusting winds, the fire moved to surrounding vegetation and wildland fire crews from Big Horn National Forest were also called in.
Fire crews continued to monitor both the structural fire and the surrounding vegetation fire through the night until the fires were completely contained.
The Ewing/Snell house was built at the turn of the last century by Erastus Ewing and was home to several families including the Snells and Sorensons.
In the early years of the park, Bighorn Canyon used the main house as a Ranger Station.
Most recently, the main house has been used as the Bighorn Canyon Research Center with a classroom and camp facilities.
It has been home to many scientists, youth programs, Artists in Residence, park staff and volunteers.
Bighorn Canyon NRA Superintendent John Bundy said, “Thank you to the Lovell Fire Department and Forest Service Wildland fire crews for their help with the fire. This is a devastating loss of history and home.”
As more details regarding the fire become available, Bighorn Canyon will share them through press releases and on their Facebook page.