The County Commissioners’ Special Meeting was called to order on June 21, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Vice-Chairman John Midkiff, Commissioner Elaine Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman present.
Partial Fire Ban- The group discussed implememting a partial fire ban in the unincorporated areas of Niobrara County.
Chairman Wade said he had talked to Emergency Management Coordinator James Santistevan about sending out a message on IPAWS or Code Red to better inform the public about the fire ban. He didn’t think there was a cost associated with doing so.
Resolution 21-07- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to adopt Resolution 21-07 A RESOLUTION IMPOSING A PARTIAL FIRE BAN IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF NIOBRARA COUNTY
WHEREAS, a potentially severe to extreme fire situation could exist throughout Niobrara County, created by high temperatures, dry vegetation, and decreased humidity, which could create situations that over-extend the firefighting capability of local government; and,
WHEREAS, under W.S. 35-9-301, upon the recommendation of the County Fire Warden, a Board of County Commissioners may limit use of a given area in the county due to extreme fire danger, and
WHEREAS, the 2012 Fire Mobilization Plan, promulgated by the Wyoming State Forestry Division, encourages the restriction of open burning in areas where dry conditions exist;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the fire danger in Niobrara County is extreme and that upon the recommendation of the County Fire Warden, the following restrictions of use be applied to all lands within Niobrara County, excluding federal lands:
That this is a partial closure, discharge of fireworks and all outdoor fires are prohibited in unimproved areas, defined as cropland, agricultural land, and undeveloped land, which predominantly remains in its natural forested or range condition, except as provided below:
• Trash or refuse fires between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., inside containers provided with spark arrestor and located within a cleared area ten feet in radius, are permitted.
• Charcoal fires within enclosed grills are permitted.
• Use of acetylene cutting torches or electric arc welders in cleared areas ten feet in radius is permitted.
• Propane or open fire branding activities in cleared areas ten feet in radius are permitted.
• Use of chainsaws provided that the chainsaws have spark arrestors properly installed and functioning.
• Federal, State, local fire or law enforcement officers participating in fire, emergency, and law enforcement activities.
• The burning of the covered wagon and “Rawhide” sign during the Legend of the Rawhide Performances being held at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds on July 9 and 10, 2021.
• Public or privately sponsored fireworks display, which are coordinated with the Niobrara County Fire Warden or his designee. And the penalties, pursuant to W.S. §35-9-304, are punishable by up to a $100.00 fine, thirty (30) days in the Niobrara County Jail, or both, may be imposed for violation of this Resolution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution becomes effective June 21, 2021 and shall remain in effect until October 15, 2021 or until such time as it may be amended or rescinded by the Board of County Commissioners.
Notice of fire closure shall be transmitted to the Wyoming State Forester, Bill Crapser, 5500 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82002.
PRESENTED, READ, and ADOPTED this 21st day of June 2021.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
NIOBRARA COUNTY, WYOMING
/s/ Patrick Wade, Chairman
/s/ John Midkiff, Vice-Chairman
/s/ Elaine Griffith, Commissioner
/s/ Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Health Fair Blood Screenings- The Commissioners discussed whether or not the County would pay for all employees’ basic health screen panel or not, since most of the employees now have health insurance.
After further discussion, Commissioner Griffith moved that the County will pay up to $49.00 for a basic health screen panel for any employees not covered by insurance. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5650. Published in The Lusk Herald on July 14, 2021.