Recent abandoned campfires and past spring wildfires on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland have prompted U.S. Forest Service officials to issue statements regarding fire safety to Forest users.

Until spring fully commits itself to greening up vegetation on the MBRTB, there will be varying levels of fire danger at low elevations due to dry flashy fuels.

Warmer-than-average temperatures and high winds have been prevalent recently, which has led to snow melt and the rapid drying of vegetation at low elevations. Grass and brush benefited from a good moisture year in 2014 and those abundant fuels are now fire prone until green-up takes hold. Dry grass and brush can readily burn and carry fire quickly, thus the flashy fuel designations and the fire danger messages.

Although no fire restrictions are currently in place, campers and other public land users need to follow basic fire safety rules.

  • Scrape back dead grass and forest materials from your campfire site.
  • Keep your campfire small and under control; make it only as big as you need it.
  • Keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers.
  • Put your campfire dead out before leaving your campsite or going to sleep.
  • Do not park vehicles in tall dry grass, since hot tailpipes can cause fine fuels to catch on fire.
  • Remember that any ignition – cigarettes, campfires, gunfire, vehicles – could be the cause of a wildland fire, as grass and other vegetation is dry and extremely flammable.
  • Always follow current fire restrictions.
  • Fireworks are not allowed on federal lands.

For more information on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, click here