The National Weather Service reports that Tuesday will be a critical fire weather day for the entire area below 6 thousand feet.
Unseasonably warm temperatures with low humidity and gusty winds are expected. A strong cold front will push across the area Tuesday afternoon and evening. This front will produce a dramatic wind shift to the northwest with some gusts to 50 mph possible. Isolated thunderstorms are possible Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Once the cold front moves through…humidity levels will rise quickly and conditions will turn much cooler and wetter Tuesday night and continue into Wednesday. Precipitation will quickly change to snow and significant accumulations are possible…mainly along the foothills and over southern Big Horn county and Sheridan county Wyoming.
The Sheridan County Fire Warden and the Rural Fire Protection Districts of Sheridan County would like to remind landowners and contractors to be careful with pile and field burning during the coming months. Please be aware that burning should not be done when high winds are expected. The last few years have created an overabundance of dead vegetation. Windy conditions, low humidity and dry fuels contribute to high fire danger. Fires can easily escape control making containment difficult.
What can you do? You can help reduce the threat of wildfire by using simple alternatives to burning. Or, if you must burn, do it safely.
- Prior to the burn, it is important to contact the Sheridan Dispatch Center at 307-672-2413 and tell them your plans-what time you plan to start burning, how long you plan to burn and what (brush piles, leaves, etc.) you will burn.
- Check the weather. Avoid burning on dry, windy days. Pick an overcast day when winds are calm and humidity is high. Try to burn before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. This is when winds are usually calmest and humidity is highest.
- Before you burn, gather rakes, wet burlap sacks and other firefighting tools. Have a source of water close by. This will help you take quick action should your fire start to get out of control. Call the fire department immediately should a fire escape.
- Stay with your burn pile until it is completely extinguished. Drown ashes with water and stir them with a shovel or rake to make sure there are no hot embers left smoldering.
- Check your fire. . . just to be sure.