Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

BLM fire restrictions back in place

Fire restrictions are back in place on BLM land within Crook County and the agency is asking for the public’s help to prevent human-caused fires by being safe and responsible while enjoying the outdoors.

“Preventable wildfires threaten lives, property, and precious resources every year,” says Craig Short, BLM High Plains District Fire Management Officer.

“Firefighters are needed more than ever to keep Americans safe, so please, do your part to prevent human-caused wildfires.”

A fire ban was initially put in place in March due to the abundance of grass and fine fuels combined with a lack of moisture.

Those restrictions were then lifted in May, with the Newcastle Field Office explaining that it intended to “join county partners in rescinding restrictions following recent and expected precipitation that has reduced fire danger in northeastern Wyoming”.

Now, however, the BLM feels that the fire danger is increasing and the conditions are drier again.

With the fire restrictions in place, fires and campfires are only permitted within fire grates at developed recreation sites or fully enclosed stoves with a quarter-inch spark arrester type screen, fully enclosed grills or stoves using pressurized liquid or gas.

Smoking is only permitted in enclosed vehicles or buildings, developed recreation sites or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren.

Chainsaws must have spark arresters and a chemical fire extinguisher and shovel must be present. Welders and torches with an open flame may only be used in cleared areas of at least ten feet in diameter with a fire extinguisher present.

The BLM also institutes year-round fire restrictions that remain in place alongside the temporary set. These include a ban on the discharge of fireworks and firearms using incendiary or tracer ammunition, as well as burning of any hazardous or explosive material, operation of any off-road vehicle that is not equipped with a properly installed spark arrester and the use of explosives of any kind.