Prescribed fire planned in footprint of the 2000 Jasper Fire

The wildfire burned 83,000 acres 15 miles west of Custer, South Dakota

Anti-Horse Project prescribed fire Black Hills National Forest
Photo taken Oct. 2016 on the Anti-Horse Project; Black Hills National Forest photo.

The Black Hills National Forest plans to ignite the 2,700-acre Anti-Horse prescribed fire Wednesday March 11, if the weather is suitable.

“This is scheduled to be a two day burn, however we may burn into Friday March 13th if conditions warrant,” said Josh Morgan, Fuels Assistant Fire Manager Officer, Hell Canyon Ranger District.

The Anti-Horse Project area is located approximately 15 air miles west of Custer, South Dakota and 17 miles east of Newcastle, WY in the Surveyor Hill Road/Jasper Fire area, across from the U.S. Forest Service Tepee Work Center.

The objective of the burn is to reduce long term fire hazards and improve health and vigor of forested stands in portions of the Jasper fire area. In 2000 the 83,000-acre Jasper Fire created extensive areas of dead and dying stands. The dead trees have fallen to the ground, creating high concentrations of fuel on the ground that create a hazard to firefighters, the public, and forest resources.

2000 Jasper fire
The Jasper fire, about 2 hours after it started on August 25, 2000. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

In 2013 a decision was signed which allows 16,500 acres of fire hazard reduction in the Jasper Fire and the nearby Roger’s Shack Fire. Over the course of about 10 years, prescribed burning is being used to reduce the fire hazard in these areas. In addition, the decision includes about 650 acres of thinning to improve the health and vigor of islands of forest stands within these areas. “Over the next several years we will work on this project to make the area more resilient for the future,” said District Ranger Lynn Kolund when he signed the decision in April, 2013.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.