By Tesia Galvan
Staff Writer 

Fire Warden: Burn regulations are working


September 28, 2016

WORLAND – The Washakie County burn regulations are helping, according Washakie County Fire Warden Chris Kocher.

Kocher, reflecting on the burn regulations six months after the burn regulations have been in effect, said, “I think having the burn regulations in place helped … They are certainly not perfect but it’s given us an opportunity to move in a positive direction.”

After a period of educating people on how to follow the burn regulations, Kocher said having the regulations did help reduce some of the smoke in the area now that burning is not allowed in certain wind conditions and on red flag days.

“We did have quite a few days in the community when it was hazy from forest fires, but that’s something that none of us can do anything about,” Kocher said, adding that having the burn regulations in place allowed the county to not have to implement fire restrictions this season.

Kocher said, “Some of the counties around us, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and Forest Service went into fire restrictions this year and with the burn regulations that we have in place currently we did not need to go into a burn restriction.”

Now that a full season has passed with the burn regulations in place, Kocher said “As we move forward, it (the regulations) will help us to hopefully prevent having to shut off burning altogether.”

It was a very busy season with fires and Kocher said, “This year we had a lot of fires, however, a lot of the fires we had were not necessarily driven by burning within our community. We did have some … but a lot of fires we had this year were started by lightning,” among other reasons.

As hunting season moves forward, Kocher reminded people to be careful of where they park especially by tall grass because fire can be started there by a hot exhaust. “We encourage folks to be careful moving forward as hunting season has started to go into full swing. We have had some nice days out there but three or four days of nice weather and that grass will burn.”


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