State Forester recommends fire restrictions
by Wyoming State Forestry Division
June 15, 2006
Due to hot and dry conditions across the state of Wyoming and the resulting high to extreme fire dangers, State Forester Bill Crapser is urging counties to impose fire restrictions.
"Itís still early in the season, but we have already seen several large fires of more than 100 acres across the state," Crapser said. "The long-term forecast is calling for warmer than normal temperatures and below normal precipitation over the next few weeks, which could set us up for a very active fire season."
Gov. Dave Freudenthal echoed the state foresterís concerns.
"This is already shaping up to be a difficult season in terms of managing fire dangers," Freudenthal said. "Through awareness and action on the part of local governments, I hope we can have some impact on reducing those dangers and limiting the strain on our firefighting resources."
Counties are also encouraged to work with federal land management agencies to coordinate restriction efforts.
Crapser also reminded outdoor recreationists that open fire and fireworks are banned on state trust lands, according to rules of the Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners, and asked all residents and visitors to exercise extreme caution outdoors. Fires should be reported to the local fire department, sheriffís office, or to the local Interagency Dispatch Center.
Editorís Note: Fire danger is still rated as LOW on the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF), according to spokesman at the Pinedale Ranger District. According to Rod Dykehouse, Fire Management Officer for the BTNF in Jackson, fire restrictions are not eminent on our side of the state due to recent rain. "I donít see them coming yet," he said. There have been several small lightning-caused fires on the Forest, but none have reached significant size. There is currently a small fire burning near the Teton Village Ski Area that is being managed for resource values. Lightning started a fire on a single tree in the Granite Creek area last week. The fire at Boulder Lake Campground on the Pinedale District reached 3 acres and is believed to have been human-caused. Nationally, wildland fire activity continues to be light nationally with 78 new fires reported. Seven new large fires were reported: three in New Mexico, one in Wyoming, and three in Utah. Five large fires were contained: one in Arizona, three in New Mexico, and one in Utah.
Current Large Wildfires in Wyoming:
Tracer (Wyoming State Forestry): 1,600 acres at five percent contained. This fire is burning 12 miles north of Guernsey. Historical structures are threatened. The fire burned actively and spread rapidly due to gusty winds.
Cheyenne River (Wyoming State Forestry): 2,000 acres at an unknown percent contained. This fire is three miles east of Bill.
Bull Ridge (Wind River Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs): 965 acres at 90 percent contained. This fire is burning northwest of Lander.
National Fire News (National Fire Information Center-NFIC)
National Large Fire Location Map (NFIC)