Fire restrictions are now in place in Sheridan County. Leslie Stratmoen has the details.
Officials of Sheridan County announced fire restrictions, today, during a special meeting, that were adopted through an approved ordinance. Commissioner Mike Nickel said campfires, charcoal fires and trash burning pits are permitted, with restrictions.
These restrictions are what he called “pretty standard.” However, new restrictions were added this year in response to an incident that happened last year.
Considering that the fire caused a few thousand dollars in damage, he said, this year the ordinance states that any person violating the fire restrictions on state, county and private lands that fall under the jurisdiction of Sheridan County will be found guilty of a misdemeanor. The crime would be punishable by a fine of up to $100 or a maximum 30 days jail time, or both. Fire districts may request restitution for the cost of extinguishing any fire that is not considered accidental, where a conviction is obtained in a court of competent jurisdiction.
The ordinance is printed below.
PARTIAL FIRE RESTRICTIONS IN SHERIDAN COUNTY
WHEREAS, the danger from forest and range fires on lands within Sheridan County has become critical; and
WHEREAS, the County's rural fire protection districts believe that for the protection of life and property, restrictions should be instituted; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners has unanimously recognized the necessity for fire prevention measures in Sheridan County; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Wyoming Statute 35-9-301, Boards of County Commissioners are duly authorized to close any or all state, county and private lands that lie outside incorporated areas, within their respective county, to open fires or other uses which constitute a serious threat to forest or range fire.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of County Commissioners, having set County fire restrictions in effect Monday, July 28, 2014 12:01 a.m. and do hereby declare that fires and open flames shall be allowed in improved areas only within the following parameters:
1. The area of said fire prevention measures shall include all state, county and private lands within Sheridan
2. County except lands located within incorporated areas; municipal governments having the authority to declare fire restrictions locally. No campfires are allowed on State land. Private and public lands lying within the Bighorn National Forest boundary shall adhere to County fire restrictions when the Bighorn National Forest implements fire restrictions and when it lifts such restrictions.
3. Charcoal fires are permitted when contained within enclosed grills.
4. Trash or refuse fires are permitted, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., in a container provided with a spark arrester (a heavy gauged metal screen with no larger than 1/4 inch openings in the screen, and located in the center of a cleared area, twenty (20) feet in radius.
5. Campfires are permitted outside of the Bighorn National Forest boundary within established, commercial campgrounds or lodging facilities, and then only if they are centered with a twelve (12) foot cleared radius, free of any burnable vegetation or material. The fire ring or pit is to be constructed of non-flammable materials covered by metal plate and/or a heavy gauged metal screen with no larger than 1/4 inch openings in the screen. Campground and/or lodge owners are responsible for any escapes and damages.
6. Use of acetylene cutting torches or electric welders are permitted in cleared areas, twenty (20) feet in radius.
7. Propane or open-fire branding activities are permitted in cleared areas, twenty (20) feet in radius.
8. No open fires or open flame shall be permitted in unimproved areas.
9. Discharge of all fireworks is strictly prohibited, unless a Permit for Supervised Public Display of Fireworks is granted by the Board of County Commissioners.
10. The term "fireworks" shall not be construed as being synonymous with "fireworks" under W.S. 35-10-201. As used herein, "fireworks" means any pyrotechnic or explosive device regardless of the quantity of explosive contained therein.
11. There is no restriction on smoking.
12. There are no restrictions on cabin chimneys or flues. It is, however, advisable to install spark arresters or screens.
13. Use of exploding targets such as Tannerite or similar copies that use binary compounds of a ammonium nitrate / aluminum powder mixture.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, pursuant to W.S. 35-9-304, any person violating this Resolution on state, county and private lands that fall under the jurisdiction of Sheridan County shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one-hundred dollars ($100) or imprisonment in the County jail not to exceed thirty (30) days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Fire districts may request restitution for the cost of extinguishing any fire that is not considered accidental where a conviction is obtained in a court of competent jurisdiction.