Wyoming news briefs for July 15


City plans for busy Sturgis rally week

SUNDANCE  Early estimates suggest that this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally could be a big one, with South Dakota authorities reportedly planning for up to a million visitors across the week. 

With that in mind, the Sundance City Council spoke with Sheriff Jeff Hodge at last week’s regular meeting about protocols for parking and extra deputies. 

In the past, said Mayor Paul Brooks, authority was given to the city’s police chief to be flexible in closing the streets. 

The city normally starts off by closing 3rd Street and has expanded to Main Street if Burnout Wednesday gets big. Hodge commented that he is planning to bring in extra law enforcement officers for that day. 

Voicing approval, Brooks said, “I think the deterrent of seeing the police is probably more effective than anything else we can do.” 

It’s “uncharted territory” as to how big the event will be, Brooks said, further commenting that he is in favor of discussions over how law enforcement will be handled because, “If something goes wrong, you guys have got to manage the crowd, so I think you should have input on what we do so that crowd management is part of the equation.” 

Council Member Callie Hilty agreed with the estimates that this year’s rally will be significant in size, noting that the summer so far has already been busier than usual. 

“I think with the way that the tourists are going right now, it’s going to be huge,” she said.


Two arrested on theft and drug charges

WORLAND  On July 12, 2021, Worland Police Department officers arrested two people that were initially suspects in several thefts from a local business in Worland. 

The male, identified as Fabian D. Cid, 29, and the female, identified as Carissa M. Funk, 23, had been staying in Worland for several days and were out-of-state visitors. 

According to a press release from Worland Police Department Chief Gabe Elliott, “A search warrant was executed for the vehicle the pair was driving and inside, officers located a large amount of illegal drugs and money that are indicative of illegal drug distribution.” 

Among the items seized were approximately 28 grams of suspected heroin with an estimated street value of $28,000, approximately 45 grams of suspected methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $9,000, approximately 2,300 oxycodone pills with an estimated street value of $140,000 and approximately $3,500 in cash. 

Cid and Funk are currently incarcerated at the Washakie County Detention Center and are awaiting their court appearances on several drug charges in addition to theft charges. The investigation into the couple has linked them to several area residents and the case is still active.


Warm weather, low streamflows stress fish

BUFFALO — We have not yet reached the hottest, driest part of the summer, but already fisheries experts are warning that fish in local streams are stressed.

"We're just getting there with the highest temperatures and lowest streamflows,” Wyoming Game and Fish Sheridan Region fishery supervisor Paul Mavrakis said.

Clear Creek usually runs about 140 cubic feet per second during the second week of July. Over the past seven days, discharge was between 60 and 100 cfs.

It's not unusual for the streamflows in Clear Creek to drop during the summer as irrigators use the water they are entitled to. This year, however, there weren't a lot of spring rains that would have replenished the creek.

The problem for the brown and rainbow trout that call Clear Creek home isn't the water volume, per se, Mavrakis said. It's that when the water volume gets so low, the water heats up faster — that has been exacerbated by the recent hot weather.

Mavrakis said that anglers who are catch-and-release fishing should be aware that the fish in lower-elevation creeks are already stressed, and they should avoid catch-and-release fishing in the heat of the day. 

On very hot days, Mavrakis said, anglers would do well to fish higher elevation streams where the water is colder and fish aren't stressed. 

"If you're going to catch and release and it's hot, play the fish as quickly as possible,” he said. “Keep them down in the water and get them off the hook as fast as you can. It's stressful for those fish to be caught, and they're already stressed."

Anglers who are catching fish to keep can do so any time of day, he said.


Smoke in Cody comes from many fires in western states

CODY — With Idaho and Montana having among the most fires per state of any in the West and huge fires raging in Oregon and California, people in the Cody area are feeling and seeing the effects.

According to Accuweather.com, the extensive amount of smoke being emitted by all of the blazes is affecting areas well outside the reach of the fires.

“The impacts from wildfires can be felt many miles, even hundreds of miles, away from its source,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike LeSeney said. “The smoke created by the wildfires across the West is being transported downwind far from its origin and creating widespread poor air quality and hazy skies.” 

Meteorologists also said there is little respite in sight in terms of precipitation for most of the areas dealing with fires.

The National Interagency Fire Center reports that there are 67 active large fires across the nation, with a vast majority of these raging in the West.

Earlier in the week, the National Weather Service office in Riverton said the smoke seen in northwest Wyoming was mainly from fires in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.