Annual Prescribed Burning to Begin on Pole Mountain

Public Service Announcement

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT - May 5, 2017

 

Laramie Ranger District fire crews hope to take advantage of favorable fuel and weather conditions next week in order to begin conducting prescribed burns in the northern portion of the Pole Mountain unit.

The burning will continue to take place as conditions allow over the next few weeks and/or months.

Smoke from the burns will likely be visible to the public from Happy Jack Highway (Wyo Highway 210) and nearby Forest Roads once they open for the season. The burn units are near Eagle Rock, just north of Forest Road 714.

Crews are primarily targeting the dead 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.

Dispersed recreation in the area may be temporarily affected by the burning pending the location of activities. Crews will be making personal contact with recreationists regarding any temporary closures. When necessary, signs will be placed on adjacent roads notifying the pubic of the burns. U.S. Forest Service fire crews will routinely monitor the burned areas following operations.

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.

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 have been obtained from the State of Wyoming.

Chainsaw work and mastication began in 2014 and the overall Pole Mountain Vegetation Project will take place over a period of approximately 7-10 years. As a whole, nearly 9,000 acres have been authorized to be treated through a variety of methods, with the goal being a resilient, diverse and historically healthy forest. Area vegetation consists of sagebrush, aspen, pine, and a mix of shrubs and grasses.

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. You can also visit our website at http://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or follow the Medicine Bow National Forest on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.

Posted by IT Department May 05, 2017 Categories: Forest Service
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