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Fire bans in effect in Platte County after ‘extremely dry fuel’ allows seven human-caused fires to grow rapidly

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CASPER, Wyo. — The Platte County Commission declared a fire ban on Tuesday prohibiting outdoor fires and fireworks.

Volunteer firefighters in Platte County have already responded to seven fires caused by humans this season, and “extremely dry fuels” allowed those fires to grow rapidly, according to the resolution passed by the commission. In addition, cheatgrass is fully mature in the county, which can contribute to a rapid rate of spread in the event of wildfires.

With Platte County implementing the ban, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Bureau of Land Management Wyoming have also issued bans for lands they manage in Platte County.

The Game and Fish ban is a partial ban that still allows contained campfires within established fire rings. Fireworks are always prohibited on Game and Fish land. Game and Fish’s partial ban in Platte County impacts Cottonwood Draw Wildlife Habitat Management Area and public access areas at Wheatland Reservoir #1/ Rock Lake, Grayrocks Reservoir, North Platte River – Glendo, North Platte River – Wendover and North Platte River – Guernsey. 

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“For more information contact the Laramie Region Game and Fish Office at 307-745-4046,” Game and Fish said.

Stage 1 fire restrictions will begin on BLM land in Platte County on Thursday, June 23. The following acts are prohibited under the restrictions, according to the BLM:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except within agency-provided fire grates at developed recreation sites, or within fully enclosed stoves with a quarter-inch spark arrester-type screen, or within fully enclosed grills, or in stoves using pressurized liquid or gas.
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  • Operating a chainsaw without a USDA- or SAE-approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than eight ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
  • Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight ounces capacity.

Year-round restrictions on BLM land prohibit the use of fireworks; the discharging of firearms with incendiary or tracer ammunition; burning tires, wire, magnesium or any hazardous or explosive materials; and using an off-road vehicle without a properly installed spark arrester.

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