Emergency response and planning for agricultural emergencies are part of a two-day training workshop in Casper for producers and government entities.
The “Wyoming Ag Responder Academy” is Friday-Saturday, Sept. 8-9, at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds in Casper, said Scott Cotton, University of Wyoming Extension educator and a presenter during the course.
The sessions are sponsored by UW Extension, Colorado State University Extension and Montana State University Extension addressing specific needs of western states that have fewer resources, deal with greater distances and more community dependence on agriculture, said Cotton.
Heavy fuel loads and dry conditions in the Big Horn Basin have prompted two preparing for wildfire sessions for rural homeowners.
The sessions are 6 p.m. Friday, July 28, at the Ten Sleep Community Center, and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Washakie County Fairgrounds in Worland.
University of Wyoming Extension educator Caitlin Youngquist is collaborating with Karen Fenton of the Washakie County Conservation District to help landowners develop evacuation plans for livestock and pets and provide information to create defensible space.
The recent fuels and fire behavior advisory from the Wind River Bighorn Basin District of the BLM specifically targeted areas below 5,000 feet.
“We encourage everyone to think about how and where they will move their animals should fire threaten their homes,” Youngquist said. “All of the spring moisture this year contributed to exceptional growth of annual grasses like cheatgrass. The fuel loads are very high, and we have already had four rapidly moving fires in Washakie County.”
The fires, one started by a chain dragging on a highway, burned over 3,500 acres.