Officials: Wyoming fire season could get bad in midsummer

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Fire season should be about average in Wyoming until about midsummer, when things could begin to heat up, state officials said.

Most of the state is in drought, with extreme drought in parts of south-central and northeastern Wyoming. Gov. Mark Gordon, whose office has set up a website to monitor the situation, urged rural homeowners to take precautions.

“If you haven’t taken and established that fire defensible perimeter around your house, you will lose it,” Gordon said at a news conference Thursday in Cheyenne.

Three relatively small wildfires were burning in Wyoming. The biggest was a 1.5-square-mile (4 square kilometer) fire north of Osage in rural Weston County.

The fire was 30% contained. Firefighters were cautiously optimistic it wouldn’t grow into a major one, State Forester Bill Crapser told the Casper Star-Tribune.

“We’re looking at probably on the high end of normal for fire danger and fire potential for the rest of June and into July,” Crapser said at the news conference.

An “above-normal” fire season appeared likely for Wyoming starting in the second half of July, Crapser said.

Wyoming’s largest wildfire in recent memory torched over 276 square miles (716 square kilometers) of Medicine Bow National Forest in southeastern Wyoming last year. The Mullen Fire destroyed 32 homes and 34 outbuildings.

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The Associated Press

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