Sweetwater County is lifting fire restrictions on private properties

FRESHWATER COUNTY – Sweetwater County will no longer have fire restrictions on private properties at midnight, according to Sweetwater County Fire Warden Mike Bournazian.

Effective Thursday, August 26th at midnight, Sweetwater County will lift fire restrictions on all privately owned properties, Bournazian said in a press release. This means that there are currently no fire restrictions specifically designed for private properties in Sweetwater County. The Ashley National Forest has also lifted fire restrictions on land in the Ashley National Forest, including the Flaming Gorge Reservoir shoreline.

There are still fire restrictions in place on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed land in Sweetwater County and several other counties in southwest Wyoming. Because the BLM manages lands in multiple counties and is the largest land management agency in southwest Wyoming, they need to go through some additional processes and coordination to turn restrictions on or off, according to the press release. So please be patient with them as they are working towards the same goal.

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“Given recent rains, increased fuel humidity, the lack of predicted extreme temperatures, and the gracious public consent that no human negligent fire begins, we can now lift the restrictions,” Bournazian said in the press release.

The Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners will ratify this action at its next scheduled meeting on September 7, 2021.

“On behalf of all Sweetwater County’s fire departments and forest fire authorities, we thank the public for your support during the fire containment,” said Bournazian.

Although restrictions on private properties are being lifted, Bournazian wanted to remind residents that the fire season is not over yet.

“There is still a very real fire hazard for the rest of our summer, but the factors that go into making the decision about the restrictions have shown that we are not as extreme as we were earlier this summer. It is extremely important that we all continue to watch out for the fire and ensure that all campfires are ‘dead’, ”said Bournazian.

This is especially true for those preparing for the hunting season and planning to be in the backcountry and in remote locations where bonfires are made in unpaved areas. If they are not completely extinguished by touch, campfires, warming fires or cooking fires can flare up again and the ashes can blow these embers out of a campfire ring into the wilderness with a gust of wind, thus creating an avoidable wildfire.

“We will continue to monitor conditions weekly and notify the public of any future changes,” said Bournazian. “With everyone’s help and a little more rain, I am confident that we can avoid interfering with the fire controls again.”

“Thank you for supporting your local fire department and federal forest fire authorities in our efforts to make Sweetwater County safe and enjoyable this summer season,” he said.

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