WPR News
2:47 pm
Tue June 22, 2004

Fire Season Might Be Bad

Cheyenne, Wy – Even though a lot of rain has been falling on Wyoming over the past week, the state's foresters and firefighters
aren't nearly ready to say the threat of wildfires has lessened.
Fog, mist and rain has made much of Wyoming seem more like the
Pacific Northwest. Nearly two inches of precipitation has fallen on
much of the state over the past week.
But the forecast calls for more of what has become the norm --
warm, dry weather. And State Forester Bill Crapser is worried that,
if anything, the danger of wildfires will increase.
That's because large trees are still extremely dry -- even drier
than the kiln-dried lumber you'd find at a lumber yard. Meanwhile,
the recent moisture is encouraging grass and small plants grow.
Krapser says if more rain doesn't fall, the new growth could dry
out and become kindling for the big trees.
The fire danger is expected to be above normal this summer in
the Black Hills, Powder River Basin, Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre
ranges, and in western Wyoming from Yellowstone to Kemmerer.