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Check online for fire restrictions on Game and Fish lands

A fire.
A fire.(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) - Fire danger remains high throughout Wyoming due to hot, dry temperatures. To help protect wildlife habitat and other public lands, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has implemented fire restrictions on many department-managed properties where people camp and recreate. In an effort to keep the public informed, Game and Fish recently launched two new interactive ways to check for fire restrictions on the department website.

Anyone planning a trip to a wildlife habitat management area (WHMA) or public access area (PAA) can check a comprehensive listing of fire restrictions on the new Game and Fish fire ban webpage. Restrictions are updated automatically, as soon as they are set in place. Restrictions are also displayed on individual WHMA and PAA webpages.

Adhering to fire restrictions is one of the ways the public can help prevent forest fires, which in dry years, can be catastrophic. Game and Fish Ray Bredehoft, chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Habitat and Access Branch said the mid-summer hot and dry climate only increases the possibilities of fires caused by campfires not only at WHMAs and PAAs but on all lands open to the public in the state. “An action as simple as leaving a campfire’s warm ashes or littering a still-smoldering cigarette can cause a fire on the landscape. In July and August, they can grow quickly,” said Bredehoft. “Remaining cautious with anything that has an open flame or can burn, including stoves, matches and lighters to name a few, is extremely important for Wyoming’s habitat and wildlife.”

Campfires, stoves and other incendiary camping supplies are permitted on WHMAs as long as there are no restrictions or a fire ban in place. Campers must ensure the place they choose to have a fire does not threaten, cause damage to, or burn any property on the WHMA, and must always remain under control. “If allowed, campfires need to be attended at all times and completely extinguished,” said Bredehoft. “This includes smoking materials like cigarettes.”

Littering and fireworks are not permitted on WHMAs. Campers and day users should review all regulations for WHMAs and PAAs on the Game and Fish website before setting up camp. 

To ensure a campfire is completely extinguished, campers need to have plenty of water on hand. To make sure a fire is out:

  • Allow wood to burn completely to ash.
  • Pour lots of water on the fire to drown all embers.
  • Pour water until the hissing sound stops.
  • Scrape sticks and logs to remove any embers.
  • Stir the ashes and embers with a shovel until everything is wet and cold to the touch.

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