Prescribed Burning Planned On Pole Mountain This Spring

(LARAMIE, Wyo.)  April 24, 2019 – In the coming weeks, Laramie Ranger District fire staff will look for
windows of opportunity to conduct prescribed burns on the Pole Mountain unit of the Medicine Bow
National Forest. Daily decisions to burn will be dependent on fuel and weather condition alignment.
If conditions are favorable, burning could take place at multiple locations this spring. For the most up-to-
date information pertaining to exact dates, times and locations, follow the Medicine Bow National
Forest official Twitter account, @FS_MBRTB.
The initial burn area will be in the northcentral portion of Pole Mountain, north of Forest Road 712
(Telephone Road) near Eagle Rock, on National Forest System lands. Firefighters are primarily targeting
the understory in stands of large ponderosa pine, as well as some juniper patches and deteriorating
aspen stands. The targeted areas are currently surrounded by black line from previous burns or green,
moist vegetation, which acts as a fire break and is necessary to conduct these types of prescribed burns.
Similar operations took place at other locations on Pole Mountain over the last few years. In general,
burn areas will vary in size consisting of anywhere from a couple acres to 200 acres at a time. The work
is part of the ongoing Pole Mountain Vegetation Project 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.
Area roads are seasonally closed for motorized travel, however dispersed recreation in the burn areas
may be impacted. Staff 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 staff
from the U.S. Forest Service will continue to monitor the burned areas following the operations.
Staff will primarily use drip torches to carry out the burning. For safety and effectiveness, operations will
not be initialized if weather conditions are unfavorable. Necessary smoke permits will be obtained from
the State of Wyoming and adhered to throughout the project.
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.
United States Department of Agriculture
For more information about this project contact the Laramie Ranger District at (307) 745-2300 or visit
our website at https://fs.usda.gov/mbr.