Press release from Forest Service Offices- 
Following recent snowfall events, fire crews are beginning to burn slash piles at multiple locations across the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests in Colorado and Wyoming.
It is estimated that there are still thousands of piles remaining on the two National Forests, even after multiple years of this type of work. Forest users and the public should be aware of and expect to see smoke, as many piles will be burned near communities and popular recreation areas. Questions should be directed to your local Ranger District Office.
“Annually burning slash piles has become part of our normal program of work,” stated Vern Bentley, Fire Management Officer for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. “Our crews are well trained in this type of work and we anticipate working towards the removal of fuels in this manner for years to come.”
Over the last few years, the two Forests have completed many forest management projects, including removing dead trees from travel corridors and recreation areas, as well as reducing hazardous fuels generated from the bark beetle epidemic. Fuels remaining in these areas have been gathered into piles, either mechanically or by hand. The main objective of the pile burns is to reduce the remaining dead fuels, which is in the best interest of long-term public safety.
Decisions by forest managers to begin preparations for burning piles were initially made in late September, following a period of wet, cool weather. While overall conditions are currently favorable, fire managers will continue to monitor weather forecasts prior to igniting piles. Burns are only initiated if conditions are within established parameters for safe, effective fires. The current and predicted weather allows for safe burning and the elimination of any threat of fire spreading to surrounding vegetation. Pile burning will continue all fall and winter, as long as weather permits.
Each prescribed burn planned by the Forests has gone through an environmental analysis and has a detailed burn plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from state agencies.  Signs are often placed on adjacent roads notifying the public of the prescribed fires, and closures are rarely necessary.
                For more information contact the following Forest Service Offices, visit our website at, or follow the MBRTB on Twitter, @MBRNFsTBNG.
  • Forest Supervisor’s Office, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, WY, (307) 745-2300
  • Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District, 925 Weiss Drive, Steamboat Springs, CO, (970) 870-2299
  • Parks Ranger District, 100 Main Street, Walden, CO, (970) 723-2700
  • Yampa Ranger District, 300 Roselawn Avenue, Yampa, CO, (970) 638-4516
  • Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District, 2171 Highway 130, Saratoga, WY, (307) 326-5258
  • Douglas Ranger District, 2250 E. Richards Street, Douglas, WY, (307) 358-4690
  • Laramie Ranger District, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, WY, (307) 745-2300