The fire that started in the Savage Run Wilderness and which has now spread south to Platte River Wilderness and east past Lake Owen and almost to the eastern boundary of the forest, has prompted a closure of much of the Medicine Bow National Forest in southern Wyoming. That closure is definitely something to pay attention to.
Much of the southern part of the Snowy Range Unit of the Medicine Bow is under a temporary closure so that firefighters can do what they need to do to stop the spread of that fire. On Sunday, it had grown to almost 70,000 acres, and weather conditions and forecasts make it likely the fire is much bigger now. If you have any thoughts of venturing to the Medicine Bow National Forest to hunt deer, elk or moose, you might want to rethink your plans.
For one thing, that fire is pushing the animals out of that area. There is still a lot of the forest that’s not on fire, but smoke and ash can cause dangerous air quality issues. Firefighters need to be able to move quickly from one area to another, and you don’t want to get in their way. All that activity, combined with the fire and the smoke, are probably pushing the game out, too.
Check the Game and Fish website for an update on the closed areas. As of Sunday, everything in the Snowy Range Unit south of Highway 130 is closed. The Sierra Madre Unit south and east of Encampment is still open, as is the Snowy Range Unit north of 130. But if you head to one of the open areas, take the fire restrictions seriously. The ban applies to just about any source of open flame or spark you can think of.
Stay safe this hunting season, and make sure you don’t make the fire bigger or start any new ones.