Partial fire restrictions took effect Tuesday for Medicine Bow National Forest in southeast Wyoming and just across the border in the Routt National Forest of Colorado. The restrictions prohibit campfires outside designated, metal fire pits.

Questions following the placement of fire restrictions have prompted the U.S. Forest service to release a list of frequently asked questions and their answers about the restriction process.  The following is provided by the U.S. Forest Service and is reprinted with permission.

How are fire restriction decisions made?
Local land managers consider several criteria when assessing the need for fire restrictions.  These include things such as fuel moisture conditions, weather forecasts, fire activity (local, regional and national), as well as social and economic considerations.  Decisions are also typically coordinated with multiple agencies and counties.

Will restrictions be lifted if we receive rain?
Although conditions started out much better than last year (2012), we are still dealing with prolonged drought conditions.  all vegetation is either already dry or quickly drying out.  For larger vegetation/fuels such as logs and mature trees to sufficiently recover from droughy, it would take a sustained period or rain or possibly multiple sustained storm events to sufficiently wet sois and large vegetation/fuels.

Under Stage 1 restrictions, can I have a fire during my upcoming camping trip or picnic?
It depends on whether you are using an officially developed recreation site (i.e. a named and signed campground or picnic area with permanent steel fire structures provided by the Forest Service) or enjoying your outing in a dispersed setting (i.e. camping outside of or away from an officially developed, named and signed recreation site.)

  • Stage 1 restrictions do not allow for open fires, including charcoal fires, except within the steel fire pits/ring structures or grills/grates provided by the forest Service in officially developed (named and signed) campgrounds and picnic areas.
  • If you wil be camping or picnicking at your favorite dispersed site, fires are not allowed.