Fire bans cropping up across Wyoming indicate how dry and windy the state can be in August. But this year the bans also reflect worries over the tens of thousands of visitors expected to arrive here this weekend for Monday’s solar eclipse.
Land management agencies from the Bureau of Land Management to U.S. Forest Service have instituted fire bans on most public areas, and have been sending regular news releases to the public asking for fire safety. Signs dot paved and dirt roads on Casper Mountain warning people of fire danger and the current prohibition on campfires and charcoal grills.
The BLM started a campaign using Smoky Bear to remind visitors to avoid parking on dry grass, follow fire restrictions and make sure safety chains are secured on trailers.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department typically follows county and local fire regulations on lands the agency owns and administers, but is restricting all fires for the eclipse, said Brian Nesvik, the department’s chief game warden.
Many public access areas have only one way in and out, which could make a wildfire particularly dangerous if such areas fill with people, he said.
Fire restrictions are also in place on many national forest lands and in Grand Teton National Park.