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Restrictions being lifted as wildfire's growth stalls

Sep 28, 2012 - From staff reports

The huge fire in north central Fremont County has slowed to a crawl, and public land closures imposed because of the blaze are being lifted.

U.S. Forest Service Wind River Agency public information officer Karl Brauneis announced Friday that campfire restrictions for recreational uses are to be ended Saturday as well.

"Due to recent moisture, the Wind River Agency, in cooperation with the Wind River Indian Reservation Tribal Fish and Game and the Shoshone and Arapaho Joint Business Council, is lifting the public use closures in place for the Alpine Lake Fire," Brauneis said. "In addition, the Sage Creek and Willow Creek roads are now open to public access in accordance with tribal fish and game regulations.

While still classifying the fire as "active," Brauneis said its size, 46,185 acres, is relatively unchanged for the past few days as cooler, wetter weather has arrived. Fire restrictions were put in place June 29.

Not all fire rules are being lifted, however.

"The remaining provisions will stay in effect. In particular, open burning, such as a field, ditch, debris or pile burning is prohibited. The public is reminded that the fire danger within the lower elevation valley is still rated as high," Brauneis said.

The Alpine Lake Fire continues to be managed and suppressed under the Wildland Fire Management Plan for the Wind River Agency.

"Smoke and active fire will continue to be seen by the public," Brauneis predicted.

He said firefighter vehicular traffic will be focused over the next week in the Sage Creek area and on into Saint Lawrence Basin.

Although it is no longer illegal to do so, Brauneis recommended against hunters and other recreationists entering the fire's actual burn area.

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