Spring Snow is Welcome News for Firefighters

 
by Taylor Viydo, tviydo@k2tv.com 
 
Due to several spring storms, Wyoming's mountain snowpack has improved greatly over the last month. However, experts say the recent boost in snow levels might not be enough as run-off is expected to be below normal for much of the state. 
 
For firefighters, the snow brings both good and bad news.
 
On the plus side, the white stuff means that wildfire season won't start as early this year. "The recent moisture is a very good thing for us. It's going to buy us some time - we've got some good snowpack up on Casper Mountain," says Natrona County Fire Chief Kevin Finn. 
 
Specifically, Finn says there is about three feet of snow on the mountain. All of that will especially delay fire season in timbered areas on and around the mountain. 
 
In terms of wildfires in grassy areas, it's a much different story. Finn says fire season in the grasslands will be starting earlier.
 
"The downside to all this moisture is we're going to get some prolific growth in the grass areas out here," says Finn. "And the grass being very 'flashy' - it doesn't take long to dry out once we quit getting the moisture." 
 
Last season was especially unique for grassland fires and all other types of wildfires. While that season started early and ended late, Chief Finn says things are looking up. "Even the fires that we are predicting we're going to have are probably going to be smaller in nature than what we had last year."
 
Finn says wildland fire season in Wyoming usually starts around the 4th of July.