Fire Danger Heats Up Ahead Of 4th Of July Holiday

Jun 29, 2017

Last year's Beaver Creek Fire in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado
Credit The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue

After a hefty dose of moisture this winter and spring, it may seem odd to worry about fires over the July 4th holiday. But Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser warns more water means taller grasses that dry out as the summer wears on.

“We’re starting to see things dry out around the state,” he said. “In fact, for today and tomorrow, the south central part of Wyoming is in high fire danger. So in our state with the way the wind blows and with the warm days, it only takes a few days to start drying the fine fuels out.”

Crapser said people should be extra careful with campfires by making sure to build them in designated fire rings, and they should be extra careful with fireworks.

“With fireworks, it’s always wise to have a bucket of water handy or garden hose and watch where the spent fireworks land and just make sure you’re not starting something. Because this is the time of year, as it starts to dry out, I think people kind of have a false sense of security still.”

Crapser said higher elevations in western Wyoming are faring the best since there’s still snow in the mountains. But he said most lower elevation prairie lands are drying up fast. He said areas with invasive cheat grass in the east are especially fire prone right now. Currently, there are no fire restrictions in place around the state.