From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 5 - 9/28/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Fire Ban Partly Lifted

by Jennifer Binning

The snow that fell on Sublette County last weekend made for wonderful, if wet, hunting opportunities as the big game animals left their tell tale tracks in the soft snow for eager hunters to follow. With the much-needed moisture came a lifting of the fire ban in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and on all BLM and Game and Fish land statewide, effective immediately.

Jennifer Johnston of the Forest Service said "last weekend really helped," reduce the fire danger in the forest, and BLM State Director Al Pierson agreed, however stating in a press release "we do want to remind people to be careful when using the public lands."

For both the Forest and the BLM, the normal, year-round restrictions are still in place, including: no discharge or use of fireworks, no discharge of a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition, no burning of tires, wire, magnesium or other hazardous or explosive material, and no operation of an off road vehicles unless equipped with a spark arrester, but campfires are OK.

As of Tuesday night, the Sublette County Commissioners had not rescinded the countywide fire ban either. County Fire Marshall John Blaha said in an interview Tuesday, that since the Forest had made the move to rescind the ban, the County would not be far behind. Infact it would probably come up at the Commissioners meeting next week. Mr. Blaha would prefer, however, to be safe rather than sorry, and does not want to lift the ban prematurely. He sites the catastrophic Bondurant fires in the early 90's, which occurred around the beginning of October and were caused by hunters as his reasoning. "It only takes a few weeks of Indian Summer to put us back in the same position we were last week," added Mr. Blaha, who is keeping an eye on the weather this weekend in order to make a solid recommendation to the Commissioners at the meeting next week. If the cool, wet conditions persist, Mr. Blaha will more than likely suggest a lifting of the ban, but for now the county-wide fire/smoking ban is still in effect. <

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