Fair

55°F

Powell, WY

Fair
Wind: SE at 8 mph

Governor, fire officials urge citizens to forego fireworks

Before fire crews arrived, residents fought a small wildfire along the Belfry Highway using blankets. The fire started near the road on Sunday, June 24, just a few miles south of Belfry, Mont., and was soon contained. As wildfires rage in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado, fire danger remains high. Gov. Matt Mead on Monday asked residents to avoid the use of fireworks, open fires and to be very cautious with anything that could cause a fire. Before fire crews arrived, residents fought a small wildfire along the Belfry Highway using blankets. The fire started near the road on Sunday, June 24, just a few miles south of Belfry, Mont., and was soon contained. As wildfires rage in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado, fire danger remains high. Gov. Matt Mead on Monday asked residents to avoid the use of fireworks, open fires and to be very cautious with anything that could cause a fire. Tribune photo by Kevin Kinzley

County likely to adopt fire restrictions starting July 5

Park County will likely restrict fires on private land following the July 4 holiday, and officials are urging folks to be extremely careful about using any fireworks over the holiday, given the high fire danger.

In Park County, fireworks are only legal to use if deployed on private property outside of city limits with the landowner’s permission, said Deputy County Fire Warden Sam Wilde.

While fireworks will be legal for Fourth of July on private land, Wilde asked folks to consider going without them this holiday season.

“We’re suggesting people skip it this year,” said Wilde, who is the Cody fire marshal. He cited the potential “for small fires to become big fires.”

Powell Fire Chief Joey Darrah also discouraged people from setting off fireworks, but asked that if they do, they find a safe place.

In a Monday statement, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead noted the more than 1,400 men and women currently fighting fires in Wyoming and similarly urged citizens to refrain from using fireworks and be extremely careful with anything that could cause a fire.

“Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes already this year and some have lost homes and cabins. We need to keep these people and the firefighters in our thoughts and prayers and each of us needs to be personally responsible by doing everything possible to prevent fires,” Mead said. He’s asked every county to implement fire restrictions and 18 of 23 counties had as of Monday.

In a Monday interview, Park County Commission Chairman Tim French said the commission will likely adopt county restrictions on fires at its meeting today (Tuesday), with the proposed restrictions potentially taking effect on the morning of Thursday, July 5.

“We’ve got a critical fire situation right now in the county,” French said. “I mean, it’s so dry and with these continued hot winds, one fire that gets away from somebody could be catastrophic.”

The restrictions the county will consider would include further limiting the use of fireworks, allowing campfires only within fire rings, limiting trash burning to nighttime hours and, if the county adopts Wilde’s suggestion, potentially temporarily barring controlled burns on agricultural land.

The last time the county put fire restrictions in place was 2007.

As for people shooting off fireworks over the Fourth, “I would recommend everybody be super careful,” French said.

The regional Bureau of Land Management is implementing fire restrictions effective today (Tuesday), while Yellowstone National Park, the Shoshone National Forest and the Bighorn National Forest implemented restrictions on Friday, Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Restrictions on the federal lands include limiting fires to designated fire grates, though portable gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or fully enclosed stoves with a spark arrester screen are still allowed. Smoking is being limited to inside vehicles, developed areas or where no flammable material in a three feet diameter; Yellowstone is barring smoking altogether in the backcountry and on trails.

State Parks, State Lands and the Game and Fish Department have also banned open fires on lands they manage.

Nearly all of Wyoming’s state parks have banned campfires altogether, but Buffalo Bill State Park is excepted from that restriction, allowing fires in designated fire rings as usual.

Share this post on:

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Leave a comment

The Powell Tribune reserves the right to remove inappropriate comments.
Fields marked (*) are required.

Subscribe

Get all the latest Powell news by subscribing to the Powell Tribune today!

Click here to find out more!

E-Edition

Our paper can be delivered right to your e-mail inbox with a subscription to the Powell Tribune!

Find out more here!

Stay Connected

Keep up with Powell news by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

Go to top