CASPER, Wyo. — Dry conditions in the northeast corner of Wyoming have caused the Bureau of Land Management to step up fire restrictions.
“Stage 1 fire restrictions on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Wyoming’s Weston County will begin August 9, 2019 due to dry conditions and high fire danger,” the BLM said on Thursday.
Stage 1 restrictions put in place the prohibitions:
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• 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 ¼” 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.BLM
On BLM, the following acts are prohibited year-round:
• Discharge or use of any fireworks.
• Discharge of a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition.
• Burn, ignite or cause to burn any tire, wire, magnesium, or any other hazardous or explosive material.
• Operate any off-road vehicle on public lands unless the vehicle is equipped with a properly installed spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1 (c).BLM
Violations of the prohibitions could come with fines of up to $100,000 and/or up to one year prison sentences. If fires are caused by violators, they are also responsible for “restitution for total suppression and damage costs incurred.