The Natrona County Commission on Tuesday approved a partial fire ban on open burning and other fire-related activities on all private and county lands due to approaching drought conditions and rising fire danger.

These restrictions will stay in effect until further notice from the Natrona County Fire Warden, according to the resolution approved by the commissioners.

The county commission has restricted these activities:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using any campfire or charcoal fire with these exceptions -- fires used in industrial or agricultural operations, and charcoal grills within municipalities.
  • Using tracer ammunition.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least three feed in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Discharging and detonating fireworks and explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps unless the user has an approved permit.
  • Using propane or open fire branding activities except in corral areas in ranch complexes considered to be improved and cleared of all vegetation.
  • Operating chainsaws unless they have a properly installed USDA- or SAE-approved spark arrester and a five pound or larger dry chemical fire extinguisher or an adequate supply of water and a shovel in case of a fire. These fire tools may be kept with the operator's gas supply, but must be available in the immediate vicinity of the chainsaw operations.
  • Burning slash piles on Casper Mountain. Mountain residents can take their slash to Tower Hill, which has been designated to receive and dispose of slash.

 

The county may impose additional restrictions on allowed uses in particular areas due to adverse weather, range and fuel conditions -- "Red Flag Days" -- at the discretion of the County Fire Warden, the Natrona County Fire Protection District and the Casper Mountain Fire District.

Religious organizations seeking an exemption from the fire restrictions for religious ceremonies must apply for an exemption to the County Fire Warden. They must provide details about the ceremony and proposed safety precautions.

Violating this fire ban is punishable by a fine up to $100, a jail sentence of up to 30 days, or both.