Jun 14, 2013 The Associated Press

Fire conditions not bad yet

Wyoming's state forester says conditions remain too damp to fuel the kind of large forest fires that are burning in the southern Rocky Mountains.

State Forester Bill Crapser said Thursday that Wyoming has seen some smaller fires recently. But he says they haven't been growing very large because fuels remain damp.

Wyoming sent a strike team of firefighters to New Mexico recently. Crapser says several Wyoming firefighters are also serving on incident management teams assigned to large fires burning in Colorado.

Crapser says he believes Wyoming is probably still a couple of weeks away from significant fire activity, depending on the weather. He says conditions will change quickly if Wyoming experiences a week and a half of hot, dry weather.

Natural gas plant shutting down

CASPER -- A Canadian company announced Thursday that it's closing a natural gas compression and processing plant in Casper and laying off dozens of workers.

Enerflex Ltd., based in Calgary, Canada, announced Thursday that it is closing its Casper plant because of shifting demand in the U.S. gas markets. The company said demand is shifting away from coal-bed methane from Wyoming's Powder River Basin, while sales of shale gas produced in the eastern U.S. are increasing.

The closure is affecting 89 Enerflex employees in Casper. Of those, seven have been transferred, while 12 are working to shut down the plan. The rest were laid off.

The employees who were laid off include welders, pipe fitters, electrical instrument workers, purchasers and finance employees, Schaerer said.

Carol Ionel, vice president of human resources for Enerflex, said the employees will be paid through Aug. 12. That satisfies federal requirements for companies with 100 or more employees to give 60 calendar days' notice of mass layoffs and plant closings.

The Casper plant opened in 2006, primarily to supply CBM compression in the Powder River Basin, according to a memo affected employees received from Jerry Fraelic, Enerflex's president of Americas.

Tree falls on Scout at camp

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Boy Scout has been hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after a tree fell on him at a Utah Scout camp in the Uinta Mountains along the Wyoming border.

The Boy Scouts of America's Great Salt Lake Council says strong winds pushed over a tree that landed on a 14-year-old Thursday afternoon.

Chief scout executive Rick Barnes says the boy was participating in an event at the Hinckley Scout Ranch about 30 miles south of Evanston.

Barnes says the boy had a broken arm, broken leg and head contusion and was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Eric Quinney with the Uinta County Fire and Ambulance in Evanston says emergency crews arrived at the camp around noon Thursday.

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