SWEETWATER COUNTY — Sweetwater County will no longer have fire restrictions in place on private lands starting at midnight, according to Sweetwater County Fire Warden Mike Bournazian.
Effective Thursday, August 26, at midnight Sweetwater County will be going out of fire restrictions on all privately-owned lands, Bournazian said in a press release. This means that there are currently no fire restrictions specifically on private lands within Sweetwater County. The Ashley National Forest has also gone out of fire restrictions on Ashley National Forest lands, including the shoreline of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
There still remains Fire Restrictions for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands within Sweetwater County and several other counties within southwest Wyoming. Since the BLM manages lands in multiple counties and is the largest land management agency in southwest Wyoming, they have to work through a few extra processes and coordination to go in or out of restrictions, according to the press release. So please be patient with them as they work towards the same objective.
“With recent rains, increased fuel moistures, lack of forecasted extreme temps and the public’s gracious compliance in having no human negligent fire starts, we can now withdraw restrictions,” Bournazian said in the release.
The Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners will ratify this action at their next scheduled meeting on September 7, 2021.
“On behalf of all the fire departments and wildfire agencies in Sweetwater County, we thank the public for your support during fire restrictions,” Bournazian said.
Even though the restrictions are being withdrawn on private lands, Bournazian wanted to remind residents that the fire season is still not over.
“There is still a very real fire danger for the remainder of our summer but the factors that go into deciding restrictions have shown that we are not to the extreme we once were earlier this summer. It is extremely important that we all continue to be fire wise and ensure all camp fires are, ‘Dead Out,” Bournazian said.
This is especially true for those who are preparing for hunting season and plan to be in the back country and remote locations where campfires are made in unimproved areas. If not extinguished entirely to the touch, campfires, warming fires, or cooking fires can rekindle and the ashes, with one gust of wind, can blow those embers out of a campfire ring and into the wildlands creating what could have been a preventable wildfire.
“We will continue to monitor the conditions weekly and will update the public with any changes in the future,” Bournazian said. “With everyone’s help and a little more rain, I am confident we can avoid going back into fire restrictions again.”
“Thank you for supporting your local fire department and federal wildfire agencies in our efforts to keep Sweetwater County a safe and enjoyable this summer season,” he said.