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Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office
Release Date: 06/30/11
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

Protect Your Home and Your Public Lands by Being Firewise

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wind River/Bighorn Basin District (WR/BBD) is urging the public to take simple steps to protect homes and reduce the risk of intense wildfires on public lands this summer and fall.

“Spring precipitation and record snowpack in the mountains has lead to an abundance of grasses that can add to the intensity of wildfires when it dries up,” said WR/BBD Fire Management Officer Chuck Russell.

Wildfire doesn’t have to burn everything in its path. In fact, regular landscaping is an important first step to reducing risk for wildfire damage. Firewise, a project of the National Fire Protection Association, provides several simple steps to reduce the risk, including clearing vegetation and other fuels from around the home, pruning large trees and cleaning leaves and debris from gutters and eaves.

BLM Natural Resource Specialist Eve Warren has advice for those who battle cheatgrass around their homes and property. “Now is not the time to spray chemicals on cheatgrass,” Warren said. “Now is the time to hand pull or mow and bag cheatgrass. This will immediately reduce the fire danger around your home and reduce the future seed source as well.”

In addition to wildfire danger at home, Russell cautions, “There will be plenty of cured vegetation that can easily burn wherever people recreate this summer and fall. Ensure your campfire is ‘dead’ out before turning in for the night or going hunting.”

Be aware of the potential for a fire to spark when driving or riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) through tall grass. OHVs must be equipped with Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) approved spark arresters.

Finally, the BLM would like to remind the public that the use of fireworks is illegal on public lands at all times, with the exception of the gravel pit northwest of Worland where a temporary, local exception to the fireworks ban was made for the Independence Day Holiday.

Please report all wildfires immediately to the Cody Dispatch Center at 1-800-295-9954. For more information about fire conditions, contact the WR/BBD Office at 307-347-5100. For more tips on reducing the threat of wildfire to your home and property, visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office   101 South 23rd      Worland, WY 82401  

Last updated: 06-30-2011