Fire Restrictions Announced
Stage I fire restrictions went into effect on the Medicine Bow National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland as of midnight on June 14, 2012. Restrictions are necessary to protect public health and safety as well as natural and cultural resources.
Record low snowpack in addition to an early and unseasonably warm, dry spring have prompted the restrictions. This decision, which was made in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Forestry Division as well as Albany and Carbon Counties, follows the implementation of fire restrictions last week on the Routt National Forest in northern Colorado.
“The dry conditions we are experiencing are projected to continue, making fuels that are already exceptionally dry even worse,” said Phil Cruz, Forest Supervisor for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland (MBRTB). “The increasing number of large regional and national fires has also influenced the decision to implement initial fire restrictions. Fire-fighting resources will become more limited as the fire season progresses, making this early precautionary effort necessary.”
The following prohibitions are in effect until further notice.
1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire. Exceptions include:
a. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire or campfire within agency provided fire grates, grills or rings at developed campgrounds or picnic areas, or within fully enclosed stoves, ovens or grills; and
b. Using standard petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices.
2. Using explosives.
3. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
4. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
5. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
Violation of these regulations is punishable as a class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both. Anyone negligently or willfully starting a wildland fire could also be held responsible for the costs of that fire.
For more information contact the following Forest Service Offices, go to our website at http://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or you can follow the MBRTB on Twitter, @MBRNFsTBNG.
- Laramie Ranger District, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, WY, (307)745-2300
- Douglas Ranger District, 2250 E. Richards Street, Douglas, WY, (307)358-4690
- Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District, 2171 Highway 130, Saratoga, WY, (307) 326-5258
(Information Courtesy of Medicine Bow National Forest)