Smoke Over Laramie: Pole Mountain Controlled Burns This Week
Smoke signals will be seen from Laramie again this week. Another controlled burn will occur on Pole Mountain, potentially as early as Tuesday, as part of the ongoing Pole Mountain Vegetation Project.
This burn will target timber litter and slash on approximately 113 acres near Forest Road 707A on the central portion of the Pole Mountain unit. Smoke will be visible in Laramie and the Happy Jack area along Highway 210.
“We previously used drones to drop balls of flammable liquid on Pole Mountain,” Forest Service Public Affairs Specialist Aaron Voos said, “but that’s not planned. The Pole Mountain crews will use hand lighting with drip torches to set the burn perimeter, which will burn itself out, or run into a control line we previously established; either another line of burned area, like a natural feature like rock or a wet area.”
Prescribed burning earlier this summer on Pole Mountain was successful. Over the course of four burn periods and on three units, personnel accomplished 683 acres of prescribed fire treatment. A total of 1200 acres are scheduled to be treated this summer.
Targeted objectives included the regeneration of aspen groves, the removal of common ground juniper, and the removal of hazardous fuel components of coarse downed woody debris and previously mechanically masticated material.
The Pole Mountain Vegetation Project in eastern Albany County began in 2014. Nearly 9,000 acres were authorized to be treated over approximately ten years to return to a resilient, diverse, and historically healthy forest. Multiple years of prescribed burning have occurred since the project decision was signed.