Prescribed burns planned on Kemmerer District

KEMMERER, Wyo. — As early as this weekend, the Kemmerer Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest plans to ignite the Basin Creek and Little Hornet prescribed fires in the Hams Fork and La Barge Vegetation Project areas.

The earliest these could begin implementation is this Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. Smoke impacts should remain minimal due to the short duration of the burns and remote location.

Photo: Bridger-Teton National Forest

Basin Creek Rx is a 27-acre unit located off forest road 10062, near Basin Creek, approximately 3-miles east of Kelly Guard Station. Little Hornet is up to 942-acres broken up into smaller sections along the La Barge Creek drainage. Each smaller unit will be managed individually. The Hams Fork Vegetation Project area is a multi-unit area covering approximately 74,267-acres.

The goal is to develop a diverse mix of vegetation, reduce fuel loading to help minimize the intensity of future wildland fires, and stimulate the regeneration of aspen stands by reducing conifer encroachment. This will be accomplished through a variety of methods to include, including timber sales, prescribed fire, pile burning, and mechanical treatments. This project is an interagency cooperative effort with Wyoming Game & Fish, Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative and the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Prescribed fires are managed under a precise set of parameters know as “prescriptions” which include overall project objectives, temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, current and expected forecast, and fuel conditions, as well as available firefighting resources, and time of the season. Before burning, fire managers ensure that all the parameters are within their prescribed fire plan so the operations can be conducted safely, and objectives can be met.

Fire management personnel will utilize both ground and aviation resources to safely conduct these prescribed fire operations. Smoke impacts from these operations will be minimal due to the smaller size of the units, remote location, and short duration of each burn. Fire managers will be coordinating with Wyoming air quality and will monitor weather conditions closely in the days prior to, and during the prescribed fire ignitions. Firefighters will continue to work in the area several days after ignitions to patrol and manage for public safety.

Local notifications will take place as well as social media postings alerting the public when these burns will be implemented.

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