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High Desert District
Release Date: 05/06/14
Contacts: Shelley Gregory    

BLM High Desert District Prepared for Coming Fire Season

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) High Desert District and its partners are working together to ensure they are ready for the 2014 fire season, which has already seen two fires of less than an acre each.

“We’ve met with county and local fire departments, the State of Wyoming Forestry Division and other federal agencies to coordinate wild fire responses and resources so that we’re prepared to protect the public at a moment’s notice,” states High Desert District Fire Management Officer Frank Keeler. Each year, the district also signs formal operating plans with Teton, Sublette, Sweetwater, Fremont, Albany, Carbon, Uinta, Lincoln and Laramie counties and fire districts to ensure seamless wild land fire operations.

The High Desert District is actively monitoring weather, temperature and vegetation moisture to plan for and mitigate the risk of wild fires. The existing fuel load throughout southern Wyoming is somewhat low due to drought conditions over the last two years but is very dry and still suitable for carrying fire. In addition, with abundant winter and spring moisture, growing grass will add to this season’s fuel load and, as it dries, likely lead to an increase in the number of wild fires with a tendency to spread faster and farther.

The BLM has four Type 6 wild land fire engines stationed in Rock Springs, Wyo., and two Type 6 engines and one Type 4 engine stationed in Rawlins, Wyo. The Type 6 engines carry a minimum of 300 gallons of water while the Type 4 engine carries a minimum of 750 gallons of water. Each engine is staffed with three individuals who are specially trained to respond to wild land fires. Starting in mid-June, a Type 3 helicopter able to carry a 1,200 pound payload will be based out of Rawlins. The Rawlins Interagency Dispatch Center has also increased its staff from two to six in preparation for the summer.

With the already active fire season, public land users should exercise caution and practice heightened fire safety at all times: ensure all campfires are dead out; travel and camp with a shovel, fire extinguisher and ample water; and confine smoking within a vehicle or cleared area. Industry should have protective measures in place to limit fire ignitions and all farm and ranch burning should be coordinated with local county fire wardens.

For more information, please contact Keeler at 307-352-0282.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

High Desert District   280 Highway 191 North      Rock Springs, WY 82901  

Last updated: 05-06-2014