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Plan Ahead, Check The Weather And Avoid Spring Burning Problems

Burning field

Many ranchers and farmers head outside to begin their annual agricultural burns when the outside temperatures are warm.

Each year, as the spring burning season gets into full swing, at least a few of these burns get out of control. The Wyoming Department of Transportation is encouraging people to stay safe and take precautions prior to burning.

If you do plan to burn, WYDOT recommends getting a weather forecast from the National Weather Service.  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.

Highway conditions and remote weather information are available at

WYDOT reminds every that if you’re conducting a field burn, you’re not not only responsible for what happens on your own property, but you may also be held criminally and civilly liable from damages to federal and state property.  That would include right-of-way fencing

WYDOT Engineer Pete Hallsten says, “The safety of the traveling public, workers and volunteers in the rights-of-way is first and foremost in decisions made regarding activity on or along the state highway system.  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. Damage to any of these items may increase the potential for a crash or otherwise jeopardize the safety of the highway user.”

Landowners, conservation districts, and others who plan to conduct prescribed burning activities are strongly encouraged to check the latest weather forecast by calling the NWS toll-free at 1-800-211-1448. They should inform local government officials of burn plans as well.

For more information about current and forecast weather conditions, visit the NWS Riverton website at, go to for road conditions and remote weather information or call WYDOT Public Relations Specialist Cody Beers at (307) 431-1803.

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