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Ferris Mountain Wildfire Controlled But Spreading

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

BLM High Desert Management officials says the wildfire burning in the Ferris Mountains nearly tripled in size Tuesday, but is under control and helping them reach forest management objectives.

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Darwin Schultz, with the Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins Field office, says the fire grew to around 1400 acres which explains the heavy smoke seen from Casper across the western sky..

“Crews have been working along the perimeter to keep the fire contained. So they’ve been focusing on that area and the fire is pretty much contained. They aren’t doing any more lighting within the unit. At this point they’re just kind of allowing the fire to burn within the unit and do some good things for the ecosystem”

The naturally ignited lightening-strike fire was burning last week and then flared up on Sunday.

Schultz says the fire is cleaning out and opening up an area of steep terrain and heavy timber that hasn’t seen fire for many years. He says plans had already been in place for a prescribed burn there and then mother nature stepped in. He says it is larger than the average prescribed burn, but he says forest management is moving in this direction. “Its the direction that your probably gonna see more land management agencies going to. We need a lot of treatment in a lot of our forests out here in the west. We’re probably going to see the burns getting to a larger area on a larger landscape level.”

He says the fire is not threatening any homes or outbuildings.  It’s burning in an area with natural features that help contain it and the fire  happened just as the weather was shifting.

“Our humidity’s are a little higher now, the temperatures a little lower, not those hot dry summer conditions, so we can allow fire to take its more natural course and we don’t  have to worried about the holding concerns as much as you would in the summer time.”

Carbon County firefighters are on scene controlling the fire burning on BLM lands in the Ferris Mountains.

Fire management officials anticipate the fire will continue to burn over the next couple of weeks with  likely periods of heavy smoke.


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