BLM High Desert District plans to burn slash piles this winter

The Bureau of Land Management High Desert District plans to conduct prescribed fires on land managed by the Rawlins Field Office and associated partners this fall and winter. Burns will be contingent on fuel moisture and weather. The BLM will only implement the treatments if specified prescription parameters are obtained.

The prescribed burning of piles will dispose of slash from the following projects:   

  • South Corral Creek: The project will burn small, hand-constructed slash piles of juniper that were created in riparian areas during a conifer encroachment project on the west flank of the Snowy Range mountains. The site is about 15 miles east of Riverside along the west slope of Barrett Ridge, north of Carbon County Road 660 (French Creek Road) and east of BLM Road 3404 (Bennett Peak Road). The overall conifer treatment project on Barrett Ridge was partially funded cooperatively by the Platte Valley Mule Deer Habitat Partnership, the Southeast Wyoming Muley Fanatics and the Governor’s Big Game License Coalition (mule deer, sheep and elk funds).
  • Morgan Creek Wildland Urban Interface: The hazardous fuels treatment project, located in the Seminoe Mountains about 30 miles northeast of Rawlins, will dispose of slash piles created during a fall 2021 hazardous fuels mitigation project. Standing and fallen dead limber pine and encroaching live conifers were removed from a portion of the drainage to mitigate hazards to adjacent structures and deeded lands. This and other past, current and future treatments in the Seminoe mountains are partially funded by the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation and the Governor’s Big Game License Coalition.
  • Arkansas Creek: The project will treat hand piles left from line preparation activities in the Arkansas Creek drainage on the north slope of Ferris Mountain. A fuel break was prepared in fall 2017 to separate a broadcast burn unit in Arkansas Creek from adjacent timber stands on Ferris Mountain. Several piles were removed during February 2019; a few that were completely covered with snow drifts at the time remain. Once the piles are burned, we will treat the unit with broadcast application of prescribed fire. Vegetation treatments in the Ferris Mountains are funded by the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation, the Governor’s Big Game License Coalition (mule deer and sheep funds) and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust.
  • Encampment River and Pryor Flats BLM Campgrounds: The project will treat about 200 hand-built slash piles created during hazardous fuels projects at the Encampment River Campground in spring and summer 2020 and at Pryor Flats Campground on the north slope of Shirley Mountain in summer and fall 2021. The piles will be burned if they have cured sufficiently to fully consume and remove all the material.  If more time is required to cure the piles, we will plan to burn them next year.

Prescribed burn treatments implemented by the BLM go through stringent authorization and permitting procedures. They are implemented only after environmental review, which incorporates project design features and mitigation measures to minimize impacts to other resources. We follow prescribed burn plans that emphasize public and firefighter safety as the highest priority. As with any activity involving vegetation treatments, risk cannot be completely removed, but we mitigate that risk as much risk as possible.

During operations, smoke may be visible from relatively long distances but should dissipate rapidly due to the time of year, the expected weather, the material being treated, and the area’s general atmospheric conditions. We urge hunters and recreationists to be aware of project areas and prescribed fire operations.

For more information, please contact either BLM Wyoming High Desert District Fire Management Officer Frank Keeler at 307-352-0282 or Fuels Specialist Chris Otto at 307-328-4250. For more information about BLM Wyoming, visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Release Date




High Desert District Office


Carmen Thomason