Partial fire restrictions in effect on Forest

Bighorn National Forest officials are instituting partial fire restrictions due to what they consider very high fire danger on the Forest.

According to authorities, the risk is due to a combination of hot and dry weather, lightning and a high number of abandoned campfires at this time. Fire Management Officer Jon Warder has said timber fuels are capable of supporting a large fire, and there’s a lack of firefighting resources because of other ongoing fires.

He said forest users are asked to be vigilant and observe fire and smoking restrictions and, as always, stay on open, numbered motorized routes. Campfires are allowed only in metal fire rings in signed Forest Service developed campgrounds.

Warder said if a wildfire occurs in an area where camp trailers are parked and unoccupied, it won’t be possible for officials to issue timely evacuation warnings.

Smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in an area at least three feet in diameter that’s barren or cleared of all flammable material.

People are asked to ensure that chainsaws and motorized vehicles have an approved spark arrester.

Use of firearms that use tracer rounds is prohibited, and use of exploding targets is prohibited year-round on the Forest.

Violations of the restrictions are punishable by a fine and/or six months in prison.

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