Much of Wyoming is seeing the outbreak of forest fires this month, and officials at the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest are on alert. Vern Bentley is the fire management officer for the forest. He says they are preparing for a major fire for a couple of reasons. One is that moisture this year has caused grass and other plants known to be fuels are growing more than normal. The other issue is the large number of pine needles on the ground due to Bark Beetle killed trees.
"With all that grass and fine fuel under a canopy of red needles, boy that is the perfect setup for a terrific rate of spread if and when we have the conditions to get a fire going."
Bentley has been a forest observer for years and says he cannot remember this much growth. For that reason he is urging people not to park on tall grass and wants people to be especially careful around campfires.