(Dubois, Wyo.) – With current snow conditions in the Dubois area, Fremont County Firewise and the Dubois Fire District issued a caution Wednesday to area residents about open burning of forest project slash. “The current snow depths in many areas are not sufficient this year to prevent escaped fires since much of the vegetation is not sufficiently covered. This exposed, fully cured vegetation is now at the most vulnerable state for fire ignition and rapid fire spread,” said Firewise Coordinator Ron Wempen. ”Even with small amounts of snow on the ground, the exposed portion of grasses and sagebrush will ignite and burn easily.”
Wempen reported that weather conditions and wind have already caused escaped fires and property damage this year in the Dubois area. He said local fire managers are urging residents to carefully consider burning slash this spring as a result. “If you decide to conduct a burn, always call the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office at 1- 800-967-2302 to report your activity. This saves the volunteer firemen from being sent to your controlled burn,” he said.
Some tips to help with a safe and successful burning project:
• Prepare the area around the burn to contain the fire
• Have firefighting tools available – shovels, rakes, and even water
• Make phone calls to the local Sheriff’s office, fire department, and U.S. Forest Service
• Notify the neighbors – they may even help you control the burn
• Stay with the burn until the fire is “cold out” • Check the weather before starting any burn activities – be aware of forecasted wind or moisture events
• Burn only what you can control
Remember, escaped fires that cause damage are your responsibility, and may have criminal and civil actions, Wempen said.