Worland News 8-8-18

An audio version of this news available here.

In a report from the Northern Wyoming Daily News, BLM Fire Management Officer Rich Zimmerlee stated that the 7 fires that kept Big Horn County, Washakie County and Bureau of Land Management fire personnel busy over the past weekend are under investigation.
The fires began Thursday evening with the Highway 31 fire west of Hyattville, the fire burned 15 acres before it was contained. Just minutes after the Highway 31 fire was reported, a fire on the Lower Nowood was reported and burned nearly 80 acres before being contained early Friday morning around 1:30 A.M.
On Friday, crews were back to work with multiple fires reported just minutes apart. First the Cotton Oil Field fire was reported just before 5 P.M. and burned nearly 7 acres. Just two minutes after that call was received another fire was reported on Rattlesnake Ridge, this was the largest fire of the weekend, burning through 355 acres.
The job wasn’t done as the Butte Fire and Tater Ridge Fire were both reported later in the day on Saturday, the Butte fire was contained at 26 acres, while the Tater Ridge Fire burned up just short of 350 acres. The article did not state that foul play or arson was at work, just that the fires were being investigated.

People looking for driver services office locations now have a new and improved tool at their disposal.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation recently launched a new Driver Services map on its website that shows where all 29 locations are within Wyoming. For each location, the public can access hours of operation, exam station information, physical address and directions.
Quote, “This new map provides a one-stop shop for the public when accessing information about all of our Driver Services locations,” end quote, said WYDOT Director Bill Panos.
WYDOT designed the new map to work on desktop computers and mobile devices. With so many people using mobile devices, officials wanted a map that could easily be viewed on smaller screens.

A conservation group claims a Trump administration committee reviewing royalty payments on fossil fuels from public lands is stacked with industry supporters who conduct some meetings in secret.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Montana, the Western Organization of Resource Council asked a federal judge to disband the Royalty Policy Committee and strike down its recommendations.
The panel was established last year by U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It’s supposed to find ways to change rules that could slow drilling and mining, while making sure taxpayers aren’t shortchanged by energy companies.
The lawsuit claims the committee is instead making one-sided recommendations that favor industry and weaken environmental protections.
Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift says it’s inaccurate to suggest the committee is industry dominated. It includes renewable energy and state government representatives.

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