|July 25, 2006|
Contact: Lorraine Keith
Fire Activity Picks Up in Southwest WyomingBLM spokesman Terry Del Bene states that “continued dry conditions have resulted in an increase in lightning caused fires in southwest Wyoming. In a 24 hour period BLM fires crews responded to 16 fires”. The largest of these, the “Rock Fire” encompasses 24 acres in the vicinity of Kappes Canyon. The Rock Fire is located approximately twelve miles south of Rock Springs and has spread rapidly through a mixture of fuel types including; grass, sagebrush and juniper trees. Fire crews worked into the night protecting threatened structures on private land at the Kappes ranch.
Working in concert with fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters, engine crews were able to contain 20 percent of the fire perimeter despite occasionally gusty winds. Of the responding crews, there were units from the Sweetwater County, Fire District One, Lander BLM, Rawlins BLM, Rock Springs BLM, Mountain View Forest Service, and Kemmerer, BLM. The air support came from the Rawlins BLM and contacted units from Riverton, WY and Grand Junction, CO. Efforts by these Units have prevented the spread of fire toward the Kappes Ranch.
Incident Commander Gavin Lovell hopes the winds predicted for today do not develop so the fire may be completely contained tonight. Trainee Incident Commander, Carl Bezanson said “our crews did a great job today, and for a while there things were pretty wild”. BLM also requests that the public avoid this area until the fire is contained to allow the fire crews to do their jobs unhindered.
BLM Western Zone Fire Management Officer, Kyle Cowan, would like to remind public land users that partial fire restrictions are still in effect on BLM lands within Sweetwater County.
Under a partial closure the following acts are prohibited:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal barbecue, or grills except in designated recreation sites on federal lands. The use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or fully enclosed (sheepherder type) wood burning stoves (piped) with a ¼” spark arrester type screen are permitted.
2. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame or arc except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in radius with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of at least 2A.
3. Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation area site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
4. Using an explosive requiring fuse type blasting caps.
5. 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, and one round pointed shovel with an overall length of a least 36 inches.
6. Discharge of fireworks.
These fire restrictions are in addition to the year-round wildfire prevention restrictions on BLM administered public lands in Wyoming.
Violation of this Fire Prevention Order is punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000, or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both. (43 CFR 9212.4 and 18 U.S.C. 3571). Restitution for total suppression and damage costs incurred will be borne by the violator.
For more information on BLM fire restrictions or conditions, contact Kyle Cowan, BLM Western Zone Fire Management Officer, at 307-352-0217, or visit the BLM Wyoming Fire page at http://www.wy.blm.gov/wy_fire_restrictions.