Wyoming hunters who may not be able to use their deer license this year because of the Beaver Creek Fire now have the option of saving the license for next year.

Hunters with 2016 Limited Quota Deer Hunt Area 81 type 1 licenses can reserve those licenses -- and those licenses only -- for 2017.

Closures in the area of the Beaver Creek Fire, which has burned roughly 2,500 acres in southern Wyoming and 36,724 acres total, will likely prevent hunters from making use of the 2016 Limited Quota Deer Hunt Area 81 type 1 licenses.

As such, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is allowing hunters to return their unused licenses to the department no later than Thursday, Sept. 1 and reserve a license for the same species, hunt area and season type for next year. The licenses can be reserved for 2017 only, per Game and Fish Commission regulations.

The department says in a news release that staff are contacting affected hunters and have already mailed license reservation request forms. Anyone who has a type 1 limited quota deer license for Hunt Area 81 who did not receive a request form should call the Laramie Regional Office at (307) 745-4046. That office is also a good place to direct any questions.

The Beaver Creek Fire started June 19 about 15 miles north of Walden, Colo. and has destroyed a number of cabins and outbuildings. State and federal agencies have since closed nearby public lands.

For more information, call the Laramie Regional Office at (307) 745-4046.