The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Burn ban now in effect

With fire season already underway, Crook County is now under burn restrictions.

Fire Warden Charlie Harrison requested the restrictions be put in place last week, telling the county commissioners that more Wyoming acres burned in February than in the entirety of 2023.

While the county has had a little moisture recently, in some places there was "barely any", he said, and temperatures are still above average.

"There's no good news in the forecast," he said.

While the restrictions have been put in place early in the year, he added, it was arguably a couple of weeks too late considering the fires that have already occurred.

Of the four significant fires in February, he said, three are known to have been human caused.

Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Robinson offered his support, commenting that Crook County is unlikely to need to worry about other natural disasters, such as flooding. This year will be all about fire danger, he said.

The commission has imposed open burn restrictions that prohibit the discharge of fireworks and the use of exploding target devices, as well as outdoor fires in unimproved areas.

All outdoor fires will also be prohibited unless they follow specific rules. They must be within a fire ring within a radius of at least 15 feet that has been cleared of burnable materials.

Trash fires will only be permitted between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. and must take place inside containers provided with spark arresters and within a cleared area 15 feet in radius.

Campfires must be contained within established fire rings at established campgrounds.

Charcoal fires within enclosed grills will be permitted, and acetylene cutting torches and electric arc welders may be used, but only within cleared areas 15 feet in radius. Propane and open fire branding activities must also take place within cleared areas 15 feet in radius.

The ban does not apply to the cities and towns or federal lands. It will remain in place until the fire warden determines it is appropriate to lift the restrictions.