Prescribed burning is the application of intentionally set fires to meet specific resource management objectives in native and agricultural ecosystems. These include enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing fuel loads and wildfire risk, burning crop residue and cleaning irrigation ditches. Prescribed burning should be carefully used because of air quality concerns and escaped fires can injure people and damage property. As a result, burning in Wyoming is subject to regulation and individuals may be liable when regulations are violated or where failure to exercise reasonable care results in an escaped fire that causes damage or injury. This bulletin provides an overview of the law and regulations regarding prescribed burning on private land in Wyoming.
The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) and the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils (CPFC) worked collaboratively to produce the 2020 National Prescribed Fire Use Report. Since 2011, the two organizations have partnered to prepare triennial reports (in 2012, 2015, and 2018) on prescribed fire activity, state-level programs, and barriers to prescribed fire implementation. These reports remain the only fire surveys that assimilate state forestry agencies’ fire intelligence for use among the prescribed fire community.
Landowners across the country are constantly looking for ways to innovate and become more efficient in their everyday practices. Land managers who choose to practice prescribed
fire are no different. Landowners know adequate equipment and personnel are needed to conduct each burn as safely as possible.
Rangeland managers promoting sustainable use of semiarid ecosystems in the Southwestern U.S. face numerous complex challenges, including invasions by non-native species, the expansion of woody vegetation, altered fire regimes, and drought.
The National Wildlife Federation now has five America’s Grasslands Conferences to be proud of with the most recent conference hosted in Bismarck, North Dakota in August 2019. This fifth conference was also the largest by number of attendees and presentations which is a testament to the growing popularity and continued significance of this biennial event. Our co-hosts in Bismarck were the North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition and North Dakota State University who were instrumental in pulling off a successful conference. A defining feature of the conference is who attends and the organizations and grassland interests they represent. Of the almost 300 attendees in Bismarck, we had individuals from over twenty seven states, the District of Columbia, plus attendees from Canada and Mexico. Participants included over 30 ranchers and producers, academics from over 20 universities and a number of other research institutions, 35 different non-profit organizations, multiple state and regional wildlife agencies, joint ventures, local and federal agency representatives, and numerous other entities ranging from conservation districts and wildlife reserves to native seed and prairie restoration companies.
Prescribed burning is a proven land management practice used in forests, rangelands, and other woody plant ecosystems. Despite the many benefits of prescribed burning, including habitat management and wildfire risk reduction, there are still many impediments to its implementation, due primarily to concerns about legal liabilities, weather, capacity and air quality and smoke management (Kobziar et al., 2015).