The U.S. Forest Service wants to ensure that those who are visiting the Medicine Bow National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland on and around Aug. 21 to view the total solar eclipse, are aware of fire restrictions and fire safety messages.

Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect on all of the National Forest System lands in the Grassland, as well as the entirety of the Laramie Peak unit, Medicine Bow National Forest.

This includes National Forest System lands located in Albany, Campbell, Converse, Crook, Natrona, Niobrara, Platte, and Weston Counties.

The remainder of the Medicine Bow National Forest, which includes the Sierra Madre and Snowy Ranges, as well as the Pole Mountain Unit, does not currently have any fire restrictions in place.

Know where you are, as restrictions vary for other land managers. For example: restrictions were just removed for Albany and Carbon Counties, but remain in place for multiple others.

================================================================

Forest Service Stage 1 fire restrictions means that the following prohibitions are in effect:

Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire.  This includes barbecues, grills, and portable braziers.

Except: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites and the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.

Prohibitions are also in place for smoking outdoors, operating a chainsaw without proper safety equipment, welding, and using explosives.

See the following web site for details: fs.usda.gov/goto/mbrtb/2017_DRD_firerestrictions

In areas where campfires are allowed, Forest visitors are advised to use caution when building and maintaining campfires.  Put your campfire dead out before leaving your campsite or going to sleep.

Public land users need to follow basic fire safety rules:

Scrape back dead grass and forest materials from your campfire site.
Keep your campfire small and under control; make it only as big as you need it.
Keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers.
Do not park vehicles in tall dry grass, since hot tailpipes can cause fine fuels to catch on fire.

Remember that any ignition – cigarettes, campfires, gunfire, vehicles – could be the cause of a wildland fire, as grass and other vegetation can be dry and extremely flammable.
Fireworks are not allowed on federal lands.

===========================================================

To report a wildland fire, please call the interagency dispatch center below:

Medicine Bow NF, Thunder Basin NG – Casper Dispatch, (307) 261-7691

For additional information visit HERE or contact

Laramie Ranger District, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, Wyo., (307) 745-2300
Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District, 2171 Highway 130, Saratoga, Wyo., (307) 326-5258
Douglas Ranger District, 2250 E. Richards Street, Douglas, Wyo., (307) 358-4690