Fire Restrictions on G&F lands
by Wyoming Game & Fish
July 14, 2007
A fairly wet spring followed by a hot early summer has inflicted high to extreme fire danger across much of Wyoming. In response to these conditions and some county fire bans, open fires, charcoal grills and fireworks have been banned beginning July 16 from Wyoming Game and Fish Commission wildlife habitat management and public access areas until further notice.
Visitors can continue to use gas stoves, but open fires, charcoal grills and wood stoves are being prohibited to help guard against a range or forest fire breaking out.
Smoking is also prohibited unless done in a vehicle, camper, developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter barren of flammable materials.
The Game and Fish is posting signs on its lands to inform users of the fire ban and hopes Wyoming receives enough moisture this summer to lift the ban by hunting season.
Bill Gerhart, the Game and Fish assistant habitat supervisor, says the ban does not change the department's long-term commitment to improve wildlife habitat through prescribed burns.
"The Game and Fish is not abandoning its support for prescribed fires when the conditions are right, because prescribed fires under proper conditions are designed to mimic natural fire and disturbance regimes," he said. "These fires improve the health of many vegetation communities, return communities to earlier stage of succession and provide habitat for a greater variety of wildlife. For example, many of Wyoming's aspen communities are dependent on and perpetuated by periodic fire events. A variety of berry producing shrubs are also perpetuated by periodic fire events, too."
He adds some of the high elevation fires naturally caused by lightning strikes and allowed to burn are fully supported by the department.
The Game and Fish thanks the public for their cooperation with the emergency ban. Anyone with questions should contact the nearest regional office or call the Cheyenne office at (307) 777-4600.