Thanks to a wet summer, prescribed burning was able to begin today by the US Forest Service. 

Twenty acres in Pole Mountain are scheduled to be burned, near the intersection of Forest Roads 701 and 701G. Smoke will be visible along Happy Jack/Wyoming Highway 210. 

Timber litter and slash–dead and downed trees–will be targeted to continue fire treatment efforts and to “supplement mechanical mastication” in the Pole Mountain area, according to a news release from the USFS Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest office.  

The prescribed burn will also eliminate common ground juniper, which is removed to foster sagebrush growth. Aspen groves will also be regenerated.

The USFS is taking advantage of forecasted rainfall in order to burn this late in the season. The prescribed burning earlier this summer on Pole Mountain was successful. Seven total burns on six different units were completed. Over 1,000 acres of prescribed burns were completed for fire treatment.

The USFS requests that the public not impede traffic during operations, and not to report the fire as first responders and dispatch are aware of the project.

Drip torches will be used to conduct the burn. Operations won’t progress if weather conditions are unfavorable. Forest Service personnel will be monitoring the burned area following operations.

The USDA Forest Service states: Prescribed burning is a versatile forest management tool that can mimic historically natural fire disturbances, improve habitat for a variety of wildlife, and reduce hazardous fuels buildup. Minimal and managed smoke from prescribed fires now helps prevent the potential for more unpredictable and hazardous wildfire smoke in the future.

Wyoming Wildfires

In the last decade, wildfires have ravaged Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest. Until 2023, it seemed to rain ash more often than water.

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