Stage One Fire Restrictions on B.L.M. Lands in Bighorn Basin
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 25, 2022
Effective July 28, every county in the Bighorn Basin – and several others in western and central Wyoming – will be under Stage One Fire Restrictions due to high fire danger.
Due to dry conditions and high fire danger, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions will begin July 28 on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management Wind River/Bighorn Basin District’s Cody, Lander, and Worland field offices. These restrictions cover a significant portion of Wyoming.
“These fire restrictions are the result of current and projected weather conditions, amount of dry vegetation, and coordination with our fellow wildfire cooperators throughout the area,” said B.L.M. Fire Management Officer Fred Tucker.
The area includes Big Horn, Carbon, Fremont, Hot Springs, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater, and Washakie counties.
Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, several objects and activities are prohibited unless specific conditions are met.
Igniting, building, attending, maintaining, or using a fire
- This restriction includes fires fueled by charcoal or briquettes outside of a permanent metal or concrete fire pit or grates that the Forest Service has installed and maintained at its developed recreation sites (campgrounds and picnic areas.)
- The use of a stove or grill solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels, or a fully enclosed metal stove, grill, or sheepherder type stove with a chimney at least 5 feet in length and a mesh screen spark arrestor with a screen opening of ¼ inch, or less is permitted.
- Smoking is banned except within an enclosed vehicle or building, in a developed recreation site, or while stopping in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Operating a chainsaw
- To do so, you’ll need an effective and properly installed U.S.D.A., or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) approved spark arrestor, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum eight oz. capacity and rating of 2A) kept with the operator and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.
Blasting, welding, or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame
- To do so, you’ll need a cleared area of at least 10 feet in diameter. In addition, keeping a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum eight oz. capacity and rating of 2A) with the operator is needed for this activity.
- This includes but is not limited to fuses, blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, tracers, and incendiary ammunition.
Personal, portable wood or charcoal-burning fire pits/rings
- Campfires are only allowed in U.S.D.A.-approved and installed fire pits/grates or gas-fueled devices with an on/off switch.
These fire restrictions are in addition to the year-round wildfire prevention restrictions on BLM-administered lands throughout Wyoming.
The B.L.M. has stringent rules regarding fireworks and ammunition. Regardless of any fire danger, the following activities and objects are banned on all B.L.M. lands year-round:
- Discharging or using any fireworks.
- Discharging a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition.
- Burning, igniting, or causing to burn any tire, wire, magnesium, or other hazardous or explosive material.
- Operating any off-road vehicle on public lands unless the vehicle is equipped with a properly installed spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1 (c).
- Use/discharge of explosives of any kind, incendiary devices, pyrotechnic devices, or exploding targets.
Everyone Wyomingite must do their part to prevent unnecessary risks of wildfire starts.
Failure to comply with fire restrictions on federal lands is punishable by law. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs for suppressing the fire.