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Fire ban still in effect; rural blaze Tuesday proves risks

Sep 7, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Despite cooling temperatures and shorter days, a fire ban remain in effect in Fremont County, officials said this week.

"Unless we start getting moisture ... I have no thoughts right now of removing (the ban)," Fremont County Fire Protection District chief Craig Haslam said Thursday.

"I know some people don't like that, (but) fuels are still dry and flammable. It's not a good situation out there now. Fires take off, and they can run pretty quickly."

Firefighters responded to just such a fire at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on David's Way west of Riverton. The incident is under investigation, but Haslam said it appears the blaze began in a garbage can that had been used to burn refuse.

"They thought it was out," he said.

Despite a lack of wind, he said somehow the flames jumped from the can to the ground, spreading to cover about an acre of land.

The blaze destroyed a motor home and an out building, Haslam said, and it threatened additional structures in the area. About 20 firefighters and eight pieces of equipment responded from multiple fire departments to protect the property.

"We had a good response," Haslam said. "Fortunately nobody was hurt, and no permanent structures were damaged."

Crews remained on scene for a couple of hours, he said.

Fire ban rules allow for trash and refuse to be burned between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. inside containers equipped with spark arresters. Haslam said the container must be located in a cleared area with at least a 10 foot radius.

During the day, Haslam said people should refrain from burning.

"That sun comes out and starts drying (fuels) out," he said. "The fire will spread."

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Firefighters kept an eye on the charred husk of a motor home destroyed Wednesday in a fire on David's Way west of Riverton. Several fire departments responded to the fire.       Photo by Alejandra Silva

Firefighters kept an eye on the charred husk of a motor home destroyed Wednesday in a fire on David's Way west of Riverton. Several fire departments responded to the fire. Photo by Alejandra Silva


Firefighters kept an eye on the charred husk of a motor home destroyed Wednesday in a fire on David's Way west of Riverton. Several fire departments responded to the fire.       Photo by Alejandra Silva

Firefighters kept an eye on the charred husk of a motor home destroyed Wednesday in a fire on David's Way west of Riverton. Several fire departments responded to the fire. Photo by Alejandra Silva

Flames spread across the property as smoke-shrouded firemen worked to protect buildings threatened by the blaze. More than a dozen fire engines were on the scene at the peak period. No one was injured, but an outbuilding was destroyed along with the motor home. Preliminary reports suggest the fire spread from a trash can. Photo by Steve Peck

Flames spread across the property as smoke-shrouded firemen worked to protect buildings threatened by the blaze. More than a dozen fire engines were on the scene at the peak period. No one was injured, but an outbuilding was destroyed along with the motor home. Preliminary reports suggest the fire spread from a trash can. Photo by Steve Peck


Flames spread across the property as smoke-shrouded firemen worked to protect buildings threatened by the blaze. More than a dozen fire engines were on the scene at the peak period. No one was injured, but an outbuilding was destroyed along with the motor home. Preliminary reports suggest the fire spread from a trash can. Photo by Steve Peck

Flames spread across the property as smoke-shrouded firemen worked to protect buildings threatened by the blaze. More than a dozen fire engines were on the scene at the peak period. No one was injured, but an outbuilding was destroyed along with the motor home. Preliminary reports suggest the fire spread from a trash can. Photo by Steve Peck

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