Help Prevent Wildfires by Being Firewise

Help Prevent Wildfires by Being Firewise

WYOMING: It’s never too early to start being Firewise. You can help prevent wildfires by taking some simple precautions. These guidelines will contribute to improving the chances of preventing a fire and also aid firefighters by creating a safe space for them to work if a wildfire occurs.

If you are burning irrigation ditches and weed or brush piles:
  • Notify your county dispatch and your neighbors of when and where you will be burning.
  • Never burn on a day when weather conditions might be unstable. Visit the National Weather Service to get weather predictions for the days you plan to burn. If there are predictions for increased wind or temperature or decreased relative humidity, DO NOT BURN!
  • Follow your county fire warden’s burn regulations.
  • You or a competent representative should be in constant attendance while a fire is active.
  • Have firefighting equipment—sacks, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, water and garden hoses (if practical)—available where you are burning.
If you are using equipment to weld, grind or mow that could generate sparks that would start a fire:
  • Never park your vehicle on dry grass and avoid driving through tall grass.
  • Grease trailer wheels, check tires and ensure safety chains are not touching the ground.
  • Equip your off-road vehicle with a spark arrester on its internal combustion engine. Check and clean the spark arrester before use.
  • Carry a shovel and fire extinguisher in your vehicle or off-road vehicle.
  • When operating an acetylene or other open flame torch, or burning trash in a burn barrel, do so only in an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials (at least) ten feet on all sides of the equipment. Have an ABC rated fire extinguisher available for use.
To help firefighters gain access to a wildfire to protect lives and property:
  • Remove flammable vegetation extending at least 10’ away from both sides of your driveway and access roads. Overhead obstructions such as overhanging branches and power lines should be removed or raised to provide at least 15’ of vertical clearance.
  • Homes located at the end of long driveways or dead-end roads should have turnaround areas large enough to accommodate large fire equipment.
  • Use signs or fencing to indicate the location of septic tanks or leaching fields to prevent damage to both property and equipment.
  • Use signs to indicate where the well house and other water sources are located on the property.
  • For firefighters, getting to your structure is half the battle. Having proper road signage and an address visible from the road ensures that firefighters can find your home and structures in the event of a wildfire. Signs should be at least four inches in height and made of reflective, non-combustible material.
  • When building and installing bridges, culverts and cattle guards, ensure that they are rated to support heavy equipment such as fire engines. Whenever possible, post the allowable weight limit in a visible location.
  • Although you may be curious or worried during a wildfire, avoid driving or even walking to watch firefighting efforts. Firefighters must stop fighting fire when onlookers are in dangerous areas or vehicles have blocked road access to the fire. Most air support equipment, such as helicopters and single engine air tankers, will not be able to drop water or retardant if you are in the area. If a firefighter asks you to leave the area, it is for your own safety!

It’s a good idea to program the county dispatch phone number in your cell phone contacts in case you ever need to report a fire. Information on how you can make your property more Firewise is available at your local BLM field office.

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