Laramie Ranger District fire crews will take advantage of favorable weather conditions this week to burn multiple large slash piles along Wyoming Highway 230 on the south end of the Snowy Range, Medicine Bow National Forest.
Burning operations could commence as soon as today, Mon., March 20.
The piles are a result of roadside hazard tree removal operations by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Wyoming Department of Transportation in southeast Wyoming.
Approximately 20 piles could be burned between Woods Landing, Wyo., and the Wyoming/Colorado state line. Signs will be placed along the highway to notify the public of the pile burning and USFS staff will monitor the piles until they are extinguished.
Travelers on the highway, Forest users, and the public should be aware of and expect to see smoke for multiple days, as the piles will be burned adjacent to the highway. Due to the proximity of piles to the highway, travelers should reduce speeds and exercise caution as smoke could blow across the highway.
Smoke could also be visible from Walden, Colo., and the towns of Albany, Centennial, Laramie, and Woods Landing, Wyo. Mountain communities and cabins along Highway 230 should also be aware of the burning operations.
Fire managers will monitor weather forecasts prior to igniting piles. Suitable weather will determine the exact dates of pile burning. Burns are only initiated if conditions are within established parameters for safe, effective fires.
Wind, fuel moisture, staffing and amount of snow cover all play a factor in where and whether ignition occurs. Predicted weather needs to allow for safe burning and the elimination of any threat of fire spreading to surrounding vegetation.
A detailed burn plan has been developed in advance, along with the appropriate smoke permit from the State of Wyoming.
Additional inquiries should be directed to the Laramie Ranger District at (307) 745-2300 or at the District Office, 2468 Jackson St. in Laramie between normal office hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Information may also be found on this website, http://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or you can follow the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.