Laramie Ranger District fire crews hope to take advantage of favorable fuel and weather conditions soon in order to conduct prescribed burns in the northern portion of the Pole Mountain unit.
If conditions are favorable, the burning could take place over the next few weeks and/or months. For the most up-to-date information pertaining to exact dates, times and locations, please following the Medicine Bow National Forest official twitter account, @FS_MBRTB.
The burn areas will vary in size consisting of anywhere from a couple acres to 100 acres at a time. The work is part of the ongoing Pole Mountain Vegetation Project on the Medicine Bow National Forest in eastern Albany County.
Smoke from the burns will likely be visible to the public from Happy Jack Highway (Wyo Highway 210) and nearby Forest Roads.
Dispersed recreation in the area may be temporarily affected by the burning based on the location of activities. Crews will be making personal contact with recreationists regarding any temporary closures. Signs will be placed on adjacent roads notifying the pubic of the burns as necessary. Fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service will continue to monitor the burned areas following the operations.
Crews will primarily use drip torches to carry out the burning. For safety and effectiveness, fire operations will not be initialized if weather conditions are unfavorable. Fuel conditions will also be factored into daily decisions to burn. Necessary smoke permits will be obtained from the State of Wyoming.
Chainsaw work and mastication began in 2014 as part of the Pole Mountain Vegetation Project, which overall will take place over a period of approximately 7-10 years. As part of the project, nearly 9,000 acres have been authorized to be treated through a variety of methods, with the goal being the return to a resilient, diverse and historically healthy forest.
Currently, the condition of native vegetation for wildlife and livestock on Pole Mountain is in decline. Conifers are encroaching in sagebrush habitats, fuel loading is occurring, and resiliency of the range and forest is a concern.
Prescribed burning is a versatile forest management tool that can mimic historically natural fire disturbances, reduce hazardous fuels buildup, and improve habitat for a variety of wildlife.
For more information about this project contact the Laramie Ranger District at (307) 745-2300 or visit our website at http://fs.usda.gov/mbr.