In the coming weeks, USDA Forest Service fire staff will look for windows of opportunity to conduct prescribed burns in four areas of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests. 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. Planned burn operation locations include the Pole Mountain and Divide Peak areas in Wyoming and Slack-Weiss and Steamboat Springs areas in Colorado. For the most up-to-date information pertaining to exact dates, times and locations, follow official social media pages: @FS_MBRTB on Twitter or @FSMBRTB on Facebook.
In general, burn areas will vary in size consisting of anywhere from a couple acres to few hundred acres at a time. Cumulative acres planned to be burned this spring will total approximately 2,300 across the four operations.
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 public of the burns as necessary. Fire staff from the 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 through state entities and adhered to throughout the project.
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. Minimal and managed smoke from prescribed fires now helps prevent the potential for more unpredictable and hazardous wildfire smoke in the future.