Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By April S. Kelley
Reporter & Photographer 

Commissioners sign resolution for fire restrictions


Hot Springs County Commissions signed a resolution establishing fire restrictions for Hot Springs County on Tuesday.

Thermopolis Volunteer Fire Department Lieutenant Clint Huckfeldt explained the resolution stating that the commissioners are empowered by the state of Wyoming to close areas to fire when fire danger in the County is extreme because of the presence of any excessive amount of flammable material or for any other sufficient reason and drought. The fire danger is aggravated by open burning and the use of incendiary devices.

On Aug. 12, the resolution for a partial fire restriction will go into effect, meaning until further notice any open fire or discharge of any class A, B and/or C fireworks is prohibited on all unimproved private and state land including but not limited to land owners in Hot Springs County. Land in which Hot Springs County holds or owns interest such as county roads, right-of-ways and easements.

The prohibition, however, is subject to a few exceptions. Trash or refuse can be burned between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. inside containers that are equipped with spark arrestors and are located within a cleared area — at least a 10 foot radious — and complies with all other laws and requirements.

Contained campfires are also allowed within an established fire ring at an established campground provided the fire is in compliance with Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management regulations in effect at the time. Charcoal fires within enclosed grills are also allowed.

The use of acetylene cutting torches or electric arc welders as well as propane or open fire branding are allowed, provided the torches or welders are used within a cleared area and the branding activities are also conducted within a cleared area — both within at least a 10 foot radius.

The use of chain saws is permitted, provided the saws have spark arrestors properly installed and functioning.

Federal, state or local fire or law enforcement officers participating in fire, emergency and law enforcement activities are permitted to do what is necessary without restriction.

Public-sponsored fireworks displays that are coordinated with the Hot Springs County Fire Warden or his designee are also permitted.

Penalties may be imposed for violations of the partial fire restriction, a fine not to exceed $100 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days or both, to which may be added the cost of restitution.

Hot Springs County Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Gordon presented commissioners with the Fire District's Memorandum of Understanding regarding the installation and housing of computer equipment owned and maintained by Hot Springs County. This will provide a safe and secure off-site backup location for county data. Access to the use of pre-designated areas of the firehall for county offices to access their computer records and carry on business should it become necessary for one or more of them to vacate their offices elsewhere.

Chairman John Lumley suggested that Gordon get a signature from the fire chief as well as the signatures of the commissioners for the MOU.

Hot Springs County Nurse Manager Marie McDougall presented commissioners with two contracts — an infectious diseases contract and a county health officer contract. Commissioners signed both contracts.

The infectious diseases contract is to set forth terms and conditions to accelerate public health preparedness planning for Ebola Virus disease, the Zika virus and other infectious diseases through implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Preparedness Capabilities.

The county health officer contract is to set forth terms and conditions to ensure the appointed CHO provides additional support to the County and County Public Health Nursing Office in relation to public health emergency preparedness and response.

Hot Springs County Sheriff Lou Falgoust and Sergeant Jerimie Kraushaar presented vehicle quotes to commissioners from Fremont Motor Company and Veto Enterprises Incorporated. The commissioners approved the quote from Freemont Motor Company in the amount of $13,457. County Clerk Nina Webber mentioned that they had only budgeted $12,500. Chairman Lumley said they would work it into the budget at a later time.


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