Wednesday marked the beginning of fire restrictions for Albany County issued by the Bureau of Land Management for agency-administered lands in within the county. County-issued restrictions, announced Monday, also went into effect.

The BLM prohibitions are largely similar to the county restrictions, but they specify that those who smoke will have to be careful about where they light up.

Here's a list of prohibited acts under the BLM restrictions:

  • 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 .25" 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 USDA or SAE 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.

These restrictions are of course in addition to the year-round restrictions on BLM-administered public lands in Wyoming:

  • Discharge or use of any fireworks;
  • Discharge of a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition;
  • Burn, ignite or cause to burn any tire, wire, magnesium, or any other hazardous or explosive material;
  • Operate any off-road vehicle on public lands unless the vehicle is equipped with a properly installed spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1(c).

Anyone with a permit or letter of authorization specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission, or any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force performing an official duty is exempt from the restrictions.

More information is available from BLM Fire Management Officer Frank Keeler at 307-352-0256.

The BLM asks the public to report all wildfires immediately to the Rawlins Dispatch Center at 1-800-295-9953 or 911.