Dion Hinchcliffe, Flickr

A partial fire ban will be in effect throughout Natrona County in advance of the Independence Day holiday.

The partial fire ban, which will take effect July 3, was unanimously approved by the Natrona County Commission during a special session on Thursday afternoon.

Commissioner Bill McDowell says the partial fire ban is a needed preventative measure.

“It’s really an alarm system to address the major causes of forest and rangeland fires,” McDowell says. “Fires not in fire rings, smoking and dropping your cigarette, not having spark arrestors on your chainsaws, et cetera.”

The restrictions will limit camp fires to agency-provided fire rings and within grates at developed campgrounds. Trash burning will only be allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in approved areas and within specified containers with spark arrestors.

Smoking will only be allowed within enclosed vehicles, buildings and at developed recreation sites. Smoking will also be allowed in barren or cleared areas with limited vegiatation.

Firework use will strictly prohibited unless a proper permit is acquired. The use of acetylene torches and electric arc welders will also be disallowed in vegetated areas.

Chainsaw use in wooded areas will be disallowed unless the tool has a properly installed and approved spark arrestor. A five-pound fire extinguisher or an adequate supply of water and a shovel must also be near the cutting area.

Propane and open-fire branding will be disallowed except within corrals and at ranch complexes without vegetation.

Slash pile burning will be strictly disallowed on Casper Mountain. Commissioners are asking Casper Mountain landowners to take their slash piles to Tower Hill instead.

Additional restrictions may be implemented on days where red flag warnings are in effect.

Penalties for violators include a fine of up to $100, 30 days in jail, or a combination of both a fine and jail time.

The Bureau of Land Management issued partial fire restrictions on public lands for several counties, including Natrona County, earlier this week.