September 5, 2006
Contact: Rich Olsen, Team Leader 307-251-0567
John Bear, PIO 970-683-9012
Hunters - Know Before You Go
Scattered rain showers across Wyoming have helped cool and dampen some areas of the state, but may have given a false sense of security where the threat of wildfire is concerned.
“It takes several days of steady rain to bring the moisture levels up in heavy fuels like trees and brush,” said Rich Olsen, team leader of a fire prevention and education team working out of Casper. “One day of sunshine and Wyoming wind can dry things out again and increase the chance for wildfire ignitions. People must remain vigilant and not let their guard down because we have had a few showers,” he said.
There are still many areas in Wyoming that remain in severe fire conditions where little to no rain fall has occurred. Hunting and recreation activities are up this time of year as people are enjoying cooler evenings and being outdoors. With hunting season upon us, an increase in human-caused wildfires could tax the resources already fighting a multitude of wildfires across the western United States.
“Hunters need to practice the basics of fire prevention and fire safety as they spent time in the field. Know before you go! Fire restrictions are still in effect across the State. If you are able to have a campfire, monitor the campfire and make sure it is dead out before leaving, crush out cigarettes, maintain working spark arresters on OHV and other equipment with combustion engines, do not park vehicles over dry vegetation, dispose of charcoal and ashes properly, and see that black powder rifles and bullets do not spark a wildfire. Remember, scattered rain showers cannot fully reduce the chance of wildfire ignition or prevent human-caused fires. It takes a period of long steady rain and personal responsibly to prevent human-caused wildfires,” Olsen said.
To news editors and producers: Field and in-office interviews are available along with informational materials on wildland fire prevention and education. Team members: Rich Olsen, Team Leader 307-251-0567, John Bear, PIO, 970-683-9012, Naomi Marcus, Prevention Team Member, 719-238-8974. Office hours are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Team members may be reached on cellular phones from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org