Bighorn National Forest plans fall prescribed burns


September 14, 2023

This Forest Service photo shows a 2021 prescribed burn off Highway 16 in the eastern Bighorns. Prescribed burns are planned this fall.

Powder River District Ranger Thad Berrett is planning a prescribed burn in the South Willow (Dry Tensleep Canyon) project area above Tensleep Canyon over the next few weeks.  The burn is needed for livestock allotment management planning, wildlife habitat improvement, and fuels reduction. 

Similarly, Medicine Wheel District Ranger Mark Foster is planning a prescribed burn in the Beaver Creek (near Hunt Mountain) project area over the same time period.  This burn is also needed for livestock allotment management planning, wildlife habitat improvement, and fuels reduction.

Look for warning signs in the area informing people of restricted access during burn operations, hunting seasons will be avoided to every extent practical.  Watch Forest social media outlets for updates prior, during, and after the burns.  The burns are likely to occur over a one to three day period when implemented.  Smoke will likely be visible from nearby communities of Ten Sleep and Shell, Wyoming.  However, smoke impacts will likely be negligible in these or other communities along the eastern side of the Bighorns due to typical wind patterns that disperse smoke.

Burns may be ignited by hand or with drones (unmanned aerial systems) and held using hand and engine crews or heavy equipment.  The recent wet weather has prevented earlier ignitions, and fire management personnel are waiting for the correct weather and fuels conditions to complete these projects.

Maps of the burn units are available on the Forest's webpage at  additional information can be obtained at the Powder River District office, at 307-684-7806, or the Medicine Wheel District office at 307-765-4436.  Check out the website,, like them on Facebook (US Forest Service – Bighorn National Forest), or follow on X (@BighornNF).


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