US Forest Service targets bug-killed conifers and aspen stands in Pole Creek area of Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest, plans prescribed burn on up to 2,000 acres after burn treatments in fall 2010 on 6,000 acres

KEMMERER, Wyoming , June 2, 2014 (press release) – The Kemmerer Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest plans to continue with the implementation of the prescribed burn in the Pole Creek area for this spring and early summer. The project will treat up to 2,000 acres as conditions allow. The Forest Service Fire Managers hope to begin ignitions starting in the next couple of weeks. This project is a continuation from the prescribed burn that took place in May of this year.

We had a very successful fall burn in 2010 that saw the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management treat over 6,000 acres in the lower Pole Creek drainage. This year we will see to the treatment of up to 2,000 acres on Forest Service lands in the Upper Pole Creek drainage as we continue to treat the increasing bug killed conifers and aspen stands.

The objectives of the burn are to rejuvenate decadent aspen stands by targeting dead and dying beetle killed conifers, promote better grasses and forbs, improving habitat for big game, reduce hazardous fuel accumulations, and restore fire to the landscape representing a more historical and natural role in the environment.

The winter phase of this project was to apply fire to the bug killed trees along the control lines. This will help reinforce the control lines along the northern and eastern boundaries for the spring broadcast burn.

The winter and spring project will be about one third the size of 2010 fall burn that took place on BLM and Private Lands. This operation will be about 200-300 acres in size.
This project is expected to be carried out anytime between June 2 and June 31. Actual ignition dates will be dependent on meeting strict parameters for weather and fire behavior conditions. Flames may be visible during the active burning operation and smoke may be evident in the vicinity, especially in mountain valleys during the early morning hours of the burn period. This project has the potential to impact spring bear hunting season.

The Hams Fork Road will remain open. Visitors are reminded to always use caution when recreating in burned areas, smoke, falling snags and active fire may be present after a closure has been lifted. Interagency fire managers will attempt to minimize any adverse impacts to recreationists and residents as the burns proceed.

This vegetation treatment is an interagency cooperative effort with Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative, United States Forest Service and Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust Fund.

For more information about this project, contact USFS Ben Banister at 307-828-5117.

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