With persisting drought conditions throughout the western half of the country and the Great Plains region, emergency mangers in Casper are expecting another busy fire season throughout Wyoming and Natrona County.

Already, several spot wildfires are burning in the upper Wind River Basin area of the state and near Dubois.

Emergency manager Stew Anderson says most of central Wyoming and Natrona County remains dangerously dry.

“The county is pretty much dry except for the small storms that come through,” Anderson said. “If things persist with this drought, we are anticipating a very active and, unfortunately, very busy fire season.”

Emergency managers implemented a burn ban in Natrona County from June until November of 2012. Anderson says it’s likely fire restrictions will be implemented again in 2013.

“People should be prepared for statements from various agencies to be careful with fire,” Anderson said. “From that advice, there’s a possibility of fire bans again this year in Natrona County.”

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor maintained by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the majority of Wyoming is experiencing at least D2, which is defined as “severe drought.” Portions of northwestern, eastern and central Wyoming are experiencing D3, which is defined as “extreme drought,” or D4, which is defined as “exceptional drought.”

UNL’s drought intensity rating system ranges from D0 to D4, with D0 indicating abnormal dryness.