Natrona County Imposes Fire Ban

Casper, Wyoming - Natrona County is under a fire ban that could last until after the eclipse. This ban, only a partial one still has a laundry list of restrictions on the type of ammunition you can shoot to where smoking is allowed. These bans are not unusual. We had one last summer in Natrona County. Most of the restrictions are common sense; all of them are about keeping us safe.

With 90 degree temperatures and almost no rain, the threat of wildfires across Wyoming is growing. Some of them unpreventable like when lightning strikes. But for fire investigator Matt Gacke, he worries about fires that are preventable .Like the ones caused by humans. Under the ban charcoal grilling in Natrona County is not allowed.

Basically the ban consists of no open fires throughout any county lands, private lands throughout the county,” said Matt Gacke with Natrona County Fire. “You can still use propane type materials but no open flame from wood, charcoal anything like that.”

Kiss open fires good bye for now, that includes fire pits. But when it comes to smoking most of it is banned outside but you can still smoke in your car and inside a building.

“If you flick a cigarette out the window and it lands in a good sized pile of brush, it could sit there and smolder. It may not start a fire right away but it will eventually start a fire,” said Gacke.

Natrona County Fire officials say that even with a slight breeze all it takes is a small spark from a dragging chain to send a field into a blaze.

“We also get a fair amount of fires people dragging their chains on their boat trailers and camper trailers,” said Gacke

Fire officials say that the effects of weather can clearly indicate the areas where a fire can turn destructive.

“You can see in my background, the mountain is pretty brown where just a few months ago it was green still,” said Gacke. “It dries out pretty quick around here and it doesn't take much to ignite a fire now.”

The ban, according to Gacke, could go from a partial ban to a full ban by the time the eclipse and any violation could be punishable by a fine or even some jail time.