Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect July 11, 2017 on all National Forest System lands within the Medicine Bow National Forest located in Albany and Carbon Counties. The U.S. Forest Service has coordinated with both counties on the timing of the restrictions, which are due to a continued forecast of dry, warm weather conditions and potential for wildfire. This includes the area surrounding the Keystone Fire, but excludes National Forest System lands in Converse, Natrona, and Platte Counties. These restrictions are necessary to protect public health and safety as well as natural resources.
The following prohibitions are in effect until further notice.
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire. This includes barbecues, grills, and portable braziers.
Except: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites and the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.
- Smoking, except within 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 material.
- Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A kept with the operator, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.
- Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of at least 2A.
- Using an explosive.
Violation of these regulations is punishable as a class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both. Anyone negligently or willfully starting a wildland fire could also be held responsible for the costs of that fire.
Forest staff will continue to monitor conditions to assess the need for further action, including additional restrictions if weather remains warm and dry and lessening restrictions if a wetter weather pattern develops.