BLM and tribes joining county's fire restrictions

Jul 14, 2017 From staff reports

The ban includes smoking outdoors, except in a closed vehicle.

As a lengthy drought continues in the Wind River Basin, the Bureau of Land Management's Lander office and the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes have announced they'll institute fire restriction on land they control.

The Fremont County Commission declared a fire ban on private and state land beginning Tuesday.

The BLM offices in Worland and Cody have issued similar fire restrictions for their districts.

"These fire restrictions are a result of our continued coordinated relationships with our fellow wildfire cooperators within the Bighorn and Wind River basins," BLM assistant fire management officer Aaron Thompson said.

The county temporarily banned the discharge of fireworks, which are banned year-round on BLM land.

In addition, the BLM's Lander office on Thursday banned the following activities:

- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except within agency-provided fire grates at developed recreation sites, or within fully enclosed stoves with a quarter-inch spark arrester type screen, or within fully enclosed grills, or in stoves using pressurized liquid or gas.

- Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

- Operating a chainsaw without a U.S. Department of Agriculture or Society of Automotive Engineers approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.

- Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity.

The tribes announced they've banned -- for 90 days on the Wind River Indian Reservation - the use of aerial fireworks and ground-audible fireworks, including helicopters, aerial spinners, missile type rockets, stick type rockets, chasers and firecrackers.

The use of Roman candles, shells and mines is limited to areas that "are paved or barren or that have a readily accessible source of water for use by any homeowner or the public."

Also prohibited is the use of open fire pits or burn barrels without a burn screen to prevent embers from igniting fire - except for those used in ceremonial purposes.

An approved display of fireworks is allowed if the individual, association, partnership, corporation or organization complies with terms of any agreement and secures a written permit from both business councils.

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