Hakan Dahlstrom, flickr

The extreme fire dangers in Natrona County have prompted the County Commission to place tighter restrictions on the partial fire ban already in place. During a special meeting Thursday morning, the Commission voted to bar the use of fires, campfires or charcoal grills throughout the county.

Representatives from the county, City of Casper, Bureau of Land Management and numerous fire services attended the meeting, and emphasized the extreme danger the county faces for a catastrophic fire.

Under the new restrictions, building a fire, campfire, or using a charcoal grill is banned in all unincorporated areas of the county. Violating the ban could result in a $100 fine.

Members of the commission also warned of the dangers of using fireworks, especially with the current dry conditions. Using or possessing fireworks is already illegal within Natrona County, but officials at the meeting said law enforcement is taking a zero-tolerance stance on fireworks this year. Anyone caught with, or using fireworks could face a $750 fine and jail time.

The fireworks planned for the Casper Events Center and Alcova are still scheduled to go on, weather permitting. Additional fire crews will be on hand for those events, and city and county crews are working to reduce any potential fire dangers in those areas before the shows. High winds or extreme fire risk could still prompt officials to postpone, or even cancel the fireworks displays.

The restrictions approved Thursday are part of a partial fire ban put into place earlier this month. The partial fire ban affects trash and refuse, which is only to be burned in containers provided with spark arrestors, and in a 10-foot cleared area, and only between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. In addition, smoking is prohibited, unless you’re in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

For a complete list of fire restrictions, go to the Natrona County Website.