U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
News Media Guide
BLM Wyoming’s public affairs staff will do everything possible to meet your information coverage needs in the case of a wildfire. We want you to get the information you need as quickly as possible.
We also ask for your patience during times of intense fire activity. There is only one public affairs specialist handling all the media for one area during the first few days of a fire, and multiple starts are common. Getting a handle on the situation can be extremely difficult, especially during the first 48 hours. Please remember when there are large, multiple fire events, it may take a little while to respond to your requests.
We understand that informing the public is important and that you are working against definite time constraints. Informing the public is equally important to us and we depend on you to reach them. That is why we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Remember, however, that in any fire situation safety will always be our top priority.
According to the BLM Wyoming fire management office, the upcoming fire season is predicted to be near normal statewide. Thanks to rain and snow during the month of May, conditions have improved over much of the state. However, if dry conditions return during June and July, these conditions could change rapidly.
According to the Rocky Mountain Area Predictive Services Group, drought conditions have worsened over western Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and western Nebraska compared to a year ago. Recent precipitation over the last month, however, has improved these conditions.
Snowpack is below normal in the Black Hills of South Dakota and areas west of the Divide, and near-average snowpack conditions exist along and east of the Divide over Colorado. Early snowmelt was a concern during the first part of March, but the recent wet weather pattern has helped alleviate some, though not all, of the concern.
Precipitation deficits in the last 30 to 90 days have been most pronounced from the northwest corner of Colorado into southwest and west-central Wyoming, and to a lesser extent in the southern portion of the Black Hills. Elsewhere across the Rocky Mountain area, precipitation amounts are closer to average in the last 30 to 90 days, and have been above average over much of South Dakota, Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and Kansas.
Current climate outlooks and analysis support average precipitation regimes for the Rocky Mountain region this summer if Tropical Pacific temperatures remain neutral and Atlantic Multidecadal Ocean (AMO) temperatures remain warm. However, if La Nina (cool) conditions develop in the Tropical Pacific during the late spring or summer, drier and hotter conditions may develop over portions of the Rockies this fire season.
The two maps below courtesy of NOAA show the current drought conditions and the summer drought outlooks.
When covering a fire, firefighters and public affairs staff may use terms that are unfamiliar to both reporters and the general public. The following is a list of commonly used words and phrases and their definition to help the public better understand wildfires.