Fire Restrictions In Place On Thunder Basin National Grassland

By Staff 6-27,2016

Stage I fire restrictions will go into effect on the Thunder Basin National Grassland as of midnight tonight. Restrictions are necessary to protect public health and safety due to the current and anticipated elevated risk of wildfire.

Recent hot, dry, red-flag weather conditions, as well as dry fuels have prompted the restrictions. This decision was made in coordination with Campbell, Converse, Crook, Niobrara and Weston Counties in Wyoming, and follows the implementation of fire restrictions recently by the counties and other area land management agencies.

The following prohibitions are in effect until further notice.

• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire. This includes barbecues and grills.
Exceptions include:
o Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites
o Using portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen
• Using explosives.
• 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.
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of at least 2A.
• Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A kept with the operator, and without one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches that is readily available for use.

Violation of these regulations is punishable as a class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both. Anyone negligently or willfully starting a wildland fire could also be held responsible for the costs of that fire.