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Fire Restrictions For Medicine Bow and Thunder Basin

Dan Borsum, U.S. Forest Service

Stage I fire restrictions are now in effect on the Medicine Bow National Forest and Thunder Basin National. Record low snowpack in addition to an early and unseasonably warm, dry spring have prompted the restrictions. This decision, which was made in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Forestry Division as well as Albany and Carbon Counties, follows the implementation of fire restrictions last week on the Routt National Forest in northern Colorado.

Forest Supervisor Phil Cruz says “the dry conditions we are experiencing are projected to continue, making fuels that are already exceptionally dry even worse.” He said the increasing number of large regional and national fires has also influenced the decision to implement initial fire restrictions. \

The following prohibitions are in effect until further notice.
1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire. Exceptions include:
a. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire or campfire within agency provided fire grates, grills or rings at developed campgrounds or picnic areas, or within fully enclosed stoves, ovens or grills; and
b. Using standard petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices.
2. Using explosives.
3. Smoking; except within 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 material.
4. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
5. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

Violation of these regulations is punishable as a class B misdemeanor. Anyone negligently or willfully starting a wildland fire could also be held responsible for the costs of that fire.

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