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New UW Guide Helps Landowners Prepare for Fire

April 3, 2013

Wyoming resource experts have written a 48-page guide to help landowners prepare for and cope with wildfires.

The "Living with Wildfire in Wyoming" guide includes recommendations for landowners, such as using defensible space practices to reduce the fire risk to structures, being prepared if evacuations should occur and addressing the effects of fire on a property.

The guide is available at the University of Wyoming Extension, Wyoming State Forestry Division and some conservation district offices throughout Wyoming. The guide also is available online at www.uwyo.edu/barnbackyard and clicking on the link under News for the Season.

“There were at least 1,300 fires affecting more than 600,000 acres in Wyoming last year,” says Jennifer Thompson, small-acreage outreach coordinator with UW Extension. "What type of season we have this year remains to be seen, but beetle-killed trees combined with dry conditions could lead to an equally active season. Whatever happens, wildfire is part of life in Wyoming whether you live in a forested, sagebrush or grassland area."

Specific topics include insurance issues, potable water and sewer systems, hazards following a fire, soil erosion from wildfire damage, reseeding, weed control and livestock grazing considerations. Suggestions to address issues caused by wildfire are provided in an example property.

"As we get ready for what could be another challenging fire season, I hope that folks who live in rural areas will find this publication useful in planning for the upcoming year and in recovering from last year's fires," says Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forestry Division state forester.

Glen Whipple, UW Extension director, says the guide is an important educational tool for extension.

“I think this publication is an important contribution to the citizens of Wyoming and extension at the university,” he says. “It provides not only solutions and ways to reclaim property damaged by the fires of last summer, but also includes information about how to landscape your property to reduce potential fire damage if we have another difficult fire season in 2013 or in the future.”

More information on wildfires is available on the Barnyards and Backyards website at www.uwyo.edu/barnbackyard/resources/wildfire.html.

For more information about the guide, call Thompson at (307) 745-3698 or email jsjones@uwyo.edu.


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