Pole Creek Prescribed Fire ignitions complete
25 miles north of Kemmerer in the southern Wyoming Range
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
September 14, 2010
KEMMERER – The Kemmerer Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Kemmerer Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management have completed the ignition phase of the Pole Creek prescribed burn for this fall. From September 3rd to September 8th, fire was applied to 620 acres of USFS land and 5,600 acres of BLM land within the 13,000 acre burn unit. The Pole Creek Prescribed Fire project is located in Lincoln County, 25 miles Northwest of Kemmerer, WY. The project area encompasses Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, State and private lands.
Fire personnel continue to monitor the area on a daily basis and active fire may still exist within the project area, particularly within the timbered stands. Camping restrictions are still in effect for the burn unit but land managers for both agencies have reduced the size of the area where camping is not allowed.
Agency officials would also like to caution the public about the potential hazards that exist within all the blackened areas of the project. If you are in an area where fire was applied be aware of burned area hazards, including active fire, fire weakened trees, smoke and visibility hazards, burned out stump holes/ash pits, rolling debris, and firefighting equipment along the access roads.
All roads are currently open within the burn unit; however, should fire behavior increase and jeopardize public safety, additional road and camping closures may be temporarily necessary. Visitors are also encouraged to use caution when parking next to the roads in blackened areas as sage brush stubs have been known to cause flat tires.
Kirk Strom, Fire Management Officer for the Bridger-Teton N.F., says he is happy with the results of the operation. "We had a pretty small window weather-wise but our timing paid off and we are meeting the objectives of the project so far and hopefully will get some more favorable burning conditions again this coming spring." Beginning next spring, additional acres within the Pole Creek project area are scheduled to be burned as conditions allow. "We’d also like to thank the hunters and campers in this area. They have been very understanding and good to work with" said Strom. "We really appreciate their cooperation, everyone seemed to understand that the short term inconvenience on their part will be outweighed by the long term benefits of the project."
The purpose of the burn is to rejuvenate decadent aspen stands by targeting dead and dying beetle killed conifers, promote grasses and forbs to improve habitat for big game, reduce hazardous fuel accumulations and restore fire to the landscape representing a more historical and natural role in the environment.
This vegetation treatment is an interagency cooperative effort with Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative, US Forest Service and Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust Fund.
For more information about this project, contact USFS Kirk Strom at 307-828-5116, or BLM Richard Putnam at 307-352-0236.