Controlled burn gets away, SCUF responds quickly

SUBLETTE COUNTY, Wyo. — Sublette County Unified Fire was called out yesterday afternoon to a controlled burn that became out-of-control.

What began as a burnout of an irrigation ditch in Boulder, Wyoming became a wind-driven fire that covered nearly 50 acres of meadow before it was stopped. The property owner quickly called authorities when the fire got away.

Sublette County Unified Fire responded quickly to keep the fire from nearby structures. In addition to Sublette County Sherriff’s deputies and Sublette County EMS, 24 firefighters from across the county all came together to fight the blaze.

“Even with snow still in parts of the meadow and frost still in ground near the fence lines, the fire rapidly progressed in dry fuels driven by continuous winds,” said SCUF Battalion and PIO Mike Petty.

With the weather warming up and folks getting ready for summer, people are beginning to clean up yards and fields. Before deciding to burn off last year’s grass and wood piles, take some of these points into consideration:

  • Do you know what the weather is like for the day/week? Being aware of potential weather patterns should help you choose the best time for any burning activities.
  • Do you have what you need if the fire gets beyond what you expect? Planning is key here. It is easy for a small fire to get out of hand especially with surprise wind gusts. Always have a plan before burning to get you the help you need just in case. Extra fire extinguishers, manpower, and a backup water supply are all good things to have at the ready.
  • Do you have the time to see it through? Make sure to commit time to stay with the burn until it is cold and out.
  • Did you notify your neighbors? Knowledge can be some of the best prevention.
  • Did you notify the Sheriff’s Office before burning? This one can be easy to forget. It should not come as a surprise but SCUF is called out to many controlled burns that someone else saw from a distance and made a 911 call.
  • Did you know that you could be held responsible for a fire that gets out of your control! Wyoming State Statute, WSS 3-6-106, deals with this directly.

Learn more.

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