Media Contact: Aaron Voos, (307) 745-2323 or Larry Sandoval, (307) 745-2420
Pile Burning Coming Soon for Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests
(LARAMIE, Wyo.) Sept. 30, 2013 – Fire crews from the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests are making plans to begin burning slash piles in multiple locations as soon as weather conditions allow.
Slash pile burns will take place in both Wyoming and Colorado, where it is estimated that even after multiple years of this type of work, there are still thousands of piles remaining on the two National Forests. Forest users and the public should be aware that smoke from these burns will often be visible and is expected. Questions should be directed to your local Ranger District Office.
“Annually burning slash piles has become part of our normal program of work,” stated Vern Bentley, Fire Management Officer for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. “Our crews are well trained in this type of work and we anticipate working towards the removal of fuels in this manner for years to come.”
Over the last few years, the two Forests have been able to complete many tree-removal projects, often along travel corridors and in recreation areas, reducing hazardous fuels generated from the bark beetle epidemic. Fuels remaining in these areas include mechanically and hand piled slash, which has been gathered into piles. The main objective of the pile burns is to reduce the remaining dead fuels. The burning of those fuels by the Forest Service is in the best interest of long-term public safety.
Pile burning will continue all fall and winter, as long as weather permits.
Routt National Forest officials are also assessing the feasibility of conducting two multi-acre, prescribed burns this fall, one near the Indian Run State Wildlife Area in western Routt County, south of Hayden, Colo. and one near the Seedhouse Guard Station in north Routt County, 20 miles north of Steamboat Springs.
The Indian Run Prescribed Burn would take place on the Yampa Ranger District and the Seedhouse Prescribed Burn would take place on the Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District.
Both burns will take place only when weather and fuel moisture conditions are suitable. Prescribed burns are used by the Forest Service to benefit wildlife and vegetation, as well as to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire across the landscape.
The decisions to begin preparation for burning piles and the consideration of prescribed burns have been made due to recent wet, cool weather. The current and predicted weather allows for safe burning and the elimination of any threat of fire spreading to surrounding vegetation.
Weather conditions are always closely monitored and burns are only initiated if conditions are within established parameters for safe, effective fires. Each prescribed burn planned by the Forests has gone through an environmental analysis and has a detailed burn plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from state agencies. Signs are often placed on adjacent roads notifying the public of the prescribed fires, and closures are rarely necessary.
For more information contact the following Forest Service Offices, visit our website at http://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or follow the MBRTB on Twitter, @MBRNFsTBNG.
- Forest Supervisor’s Office, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, WY, (307) 745-2300
- Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District, 2171 Highway 130, Saratoga, WY, (307) 326-5258
- Douglas Ranger District, 2250 E. Richards Street, Douglas, WY, (307) 358-4690
- Laramie Ranger District, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, WY, (307) 745-2300
- Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District, 925 Weiss Drive, Steamboat Springs, CO, (970) 870-2299
- Parks Ranger District, 100 Main Street, Walden, CO, (970) 723-2700
- Yampa Ranger District, 300 Roselawn Avenue, Yampa, CO, (970) 638-4516