NWS urges caution on controlled burns

Mar 26, 2017 From wire reports

Each year, as the spring burning season gets into full swing, at least a few agricultural burns in Fremont County get out of control. This year, the National Weather Service is encouraging people to heed potential complications from wind gusts

"Frequently, our calm mornings turn windy during the afternoon," said Tim Troutman of the National Weather Service Riverton office. "Having an up-to-date wind speed and direction forecast can help you decide whether or not dropping the match is worth the risk."

Troutman said federal and state land management agencies routinely obtain weather forecasts from the NWS, and citizens should do the same. The Riverton NWS office can be contacted 24 hours a day by phone at 1-800-211-1448. Area-specific forecasts are also available online at or on smart phones at

Highway conditions and remote weather information are available at and citizens are encouraged to inform local government officials, including county sheriffs' offices of burn plans as well.

Citizens conducting a field burn are not only responsible for what happens on their own property, they may also be held criminally and civilly liable from damages to federal and state property. This includes, but is not limited to, right-of-way fencing, according to WYDOT District 5 Engineer Pete Hallsten of Basin.

"The situation of burning highway rights-of-way generates safety concerns for the traveling public by the potential of limited visibility caused by low-hanging smoke and damage to fences, signs, sign posts, guardrail and permitted utilities," Hallsten said.

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