Fire Restrictions now in effect in Fremont County; Reservation cooperation sought
(Lander, Wyo.) – Fremont County Fire Warden Craig Haslam today asked for and received a county-wide fire restriction due to the very dry conditions and abundant quantities of cheat and other grasses that have matured. “I have talked with both the BIA and the BLM and they have said they would follow our lead,” Haslam told the board. “They were very close in calling their own fire restrictions.” The fire restrictions began at noon on Tuesday.
Open fires and fireworks are now banned on all state and private lands within Fremont County, according to the resolution that was unanimously approved by the county commissioners.
The resolution noted there “is an extreme danger of fire throughout Fremont County because of drought conditions,” and “there is a presence of excessive amounts of flammable materials and the high fire danger is aggravated by open burning and the use of incendiary devices.” Haslam credited the very wet spring with the growth of flammable foliage.
The fire restrictions will be in effect until lifted by the county commissioners.
Specifically, the ban includes any open fire or discharge of any Class A,B, and/or C fireworks, including locations such as county roads, easements and rights-of-way.
Commissioner Clarence Thomas, whose district primarily serves the Wind River Indian Reservation, called on the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes to do more to control the use of fireworks by the younger members of both tribes. “They need to come to the table and do what they can, they cannot depend on the BIA or BLM to be their mother and father, they need to take responsibility; collaborate and cooperate with the county and the two cities,” he said. Thomas reported there had been several very costly fires on the reservation already, including one that burned up 90 bales of hay that were all caused by fireworks.
The prohibition is subject to the following exceptions:
A. Trash or refuse burned between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. inside containers equipped with spark arresters and are located within a cleared area that has at least a 10 foot radium, and comply with all other laws and requirements.
B. Camp fires contained within an established fire ring, or portable fire pits with screens or spark arrestor systems.
C. Charcoal fires within enclosed grills.
D. Use of acetylene cutting torches or electric arc welder provided the torches or welders are used within cleared area with at least a 10 foot radius.
E. Propane or open fire branding activities provided the branding activities are conducted within a cleared are with at least a 10 foot radius.
F. Use of chain saw provided the chain saw has spark arresters properly installed and functioning.
G. Federal, State or local fire or law enforcement officers participating in fire, emergency and law enforcement activities.
H. Public-sponsored fireworks display which are coordinated with the County Fire Warden or his designee.
I. Smoking in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three foot in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
J. Agricultural irrigated land.
Violators of the fire restrictions could be fined a maximum of $100 or sent to jail for not more than 30 days upon conviction. The fine could be added to any cost of restitution.