Park County Commissioners Enact Stage One Fire Restrictions

Park County Commissioners Enact Stage One Fire Restrictions

Written by on July 7, 2021

Fire is one seasonal visitor that isn’t welcome in Park County this summer, as the county and federal agencies take action to prevent human-caused wildfires.

Throughout northwest Wyoming, the risk of intense wildfires grows every day as Park County continues to get hotter and drier. Now, more activities are restricted to ensure the safety of all county residents.

On July 1, the Park County Commissioners enacted their own fire restrictions. While essentially following the same Stage One Restrictions in effect on federal lands throughout northwest Wyoming, there are some different restrictions.

Stage 1 Restrictions:

  1. Any ignition or discharge of any firework and all outdoor open fires are prohibited in unimproved areas of Park County (except as provided below), which areas include all County land and private land, including but not limited to all lands owned by Park County or in which Park County holds or owns an interest, including County roads, easements, and rights of way.:
    • Only campfires at residences or campsites within a fire ring centered within a minimum of a 15 ft. cleared radius of burnable materials are permitted.
  2. Trash or refuse fires between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., inside containers provided with a spark arrester and located within a cleared radius of a minimum of 15 ft. of burnable materials are permitted.
    • Charcoal fires within enclosed grills are permitted.
  3. Use of acetylene cutting, electric arc welders, or metal grinding in a cleared radius of 15 ft. of burnable materials is permitted.
  4. The use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel, or fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove and open fire branding activities in a cleared radius of 15 ft. of burnable materials is permitted.

Any violation of this resolution may be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to a $100.00 fine or both.

These penalties are in addition to “possible restitution for the cost of fire suppression and damages to others caused by the violation of this resolution.”

The following persons are exempt from the restrictions imposed in Stage 1 Restrictions:

  • Any federal, state, or local officers engaged in fire, emergency, and law enforcement activities.
  • Any member of a rescue or firefighting force engaged in the performance of an official duty.
  • Any persons who are conducting agricultural burns on private lands – but only with the permission of their local fire department.

In this context, “unimproved land” is defined to mean cropland, agricultural land, and undeveloped land in a natural forested or range condition.

Exceptions to these restrictions and closures can be made in writing by the Park County Commissioners.

Also, these restrictions do not include the areas within incorporated cities and towns in Park County or federal lands. Cody, Powell, Meeteetse, and other locations may impose more or less restrictive regulations as they wish.

Most federal lands in Park County are already under Stage One Fire Restrictions. As of July 1st, Yellowstone National Park and the Shoshone and Bighorn National Forests are under similar restrictions, as are all B.L.M. lands.

The Fire Warden shall promptly notify the Board of County Commissioners of any changes in the severity of the fire danger. Changes could mean more restrictions later this summer.

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