Big Horn County Community Wildfire Protection Plan Addendum

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					                               Big Horn County
             Community Wildfire Protection Plan

              ◄◄◄◄◄ Addendum ►►►►►


                                   March 15, 2010



This Addendum was developed by the Big Horn County CWPP Operating Group in cooperation with:

                              Technical Forestry Services, LLC
                                  6628 West Riverside Dr
                                  Casper, Wyoming 82604
                                      www.wytfs.com
                                                                    Table of Contents

Section                                                                                                                                                                               Page

1.0     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................................................................- 5 -

2.0     INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................- 7 -

  2.1         BACKGROUND................................................................................................................................... - 9 -
  2.2         WILDLAND-URBAN INTERFACE ...................................................................................................... - 9 -
  2.3         AT-RISK COMMUNITY .................................................................................................................... - 10 -
  2.4         FOREST HEALTH ............................................................................................................................ - 10 -
  2.5         RELEVANT FIRE POLICIES............................................................................................................. - 12 -
      2.5.1      State Policies .................................................................................................................................. - 12 -
      2.5.2      Federal Policies.............................................................................................................................. - 12 -
        2.5.2.1           The National Fire Plan (NFP) ................................................................................................................- 12 -
        2.5.2.2           Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan Revision............................................................................- 13 -
        2.5.2.3           Other USDI BLM Documents ...............................................................................................................- 13 -
        •        Fire Management Plan – 2004..........................................................................................................................- 13 -
        •        Fire Management Implementation Plan - 1998.................................................................................................- 13 -
      2.5.3      Other Polices and Coordinating Groups ........................................................................................ - 14 -
        2.5.3.1           Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)......................- 14 -
  2.6         EXISTING FIRE CONTROL DOCUMENTS ....................................................................................... - 15 -

3.0     COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION ........................................................................................- 15 -

  3.1         PUBLIC OUTREACH IN BIG HORN COUNTY .................................................................................. - 16 -
  3.2         COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION ........................................................................................................... - 17 -

4.0     COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT..........................................................................................- 19 -

  4.1         FINAL WUI RATING ....................................................................................................................... - 21 -
      4.1.1      Emergency Management Capabilities ............................................................................................ - 23 -
      4.1.2      Values-at-risk.................................................................................................................................. - 23 -
        4.1.2.1           Wildlife habitat ......................................................................................................................................- 24 -

5.0     RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REDUCING RISK OF CATASTROPHIC FIRE .......- 27 -

  5.1         RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LAND TREATMENTS ........................................................................... - 28 -
      5.1.1      Prescribed Fire............................................................................................................................... - 28 -
      5.1.2      Riparian Area Fuels Modifications ................................................................................................ - 29 -
      5.1.3      Miscellaneous ................................................................................................................................. - 30 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


   5.2        RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REDUCING STRUCTURAL IGNITABILITY........................................... - 30 -
   5.3        RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROMOTING PUBLIC OUTREACH ...................................................... - 30 -
   5.4        RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SERVICES ........................................... - 31 -
   5.5        RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY CHANGES .............................................................................. - 31 -
   5.6        ENCOURAGE LOCAL WOOD PRODUCTS INDUSTRY ..................................................................... - 32 -
   5.7        MISCELLANEOUS ............................................................................................................................ - 32 -

6.0       DECLARATION OF AGREEMENT AND CONCURRENCE...........................................34

7.0       LITERATURE CITED .......................................................................................................- 37 -

8.0       APPENDIXES ......................................................................................................................- 38 -

   8.1        APPENDIX 1. FIELD GUIDANCE. IDENTIFYING AND PRIORITIZING COMMUNITIES AT RISK. ... - 38 -
   8.2        APPENDIX 2. PLANNING AND ZONING EXAMPLE ......................................................................... - 45 -
   8.3        APPENDIX 3. FUEL TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS IN A RUSSIAN OLIVE AND TAMARISK
   FUELS COMPLEX ......................................................................................................................................... - 51 -
   8.4        APPENDIX 4. FUELS TREATMENTS IN BIG HORN COUNTY: 2005 THROUGH JUNE, 2009 .......... - 59 -
   8.5        APPENDIX 5. WYOMING DOT RULES FOR FIREGUARDS ON RAILROAD PROPERTY ................. - 60 -
   8.6        APPENDIX 6. MAP SHOWING RECOMMENDED 50 FOOT BUFFER IN AREAS WHERE
   RAILROAD LINES TRANSECT AT-RISK COMMUNITY BOUNDARIES............................................................ - 66 -

   8.7        APPENDIX 7. FIRE OCCURRENCE MAP 2005 THROUGH 2009...................................................... - 67 -


   LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Historical Cabins along Dry Medicine Lodge Creek ..................................................- 6 -

Figure 2. Big Horn County 2010 CWPP Base Map ...................................................................- 8 -

Figure 3. Globe Canal within the Town of Lovell, Wyoming..................................................- 10 -

Figure 4. 2007 Dike Fire which burned approximately eight acres..........................................- 11 -

Figure 5. The “Dike Fire” within the Town of Greybull city limits .........................................- 16 -

Figure 6. 1996 North Brokenback Fire .....................................................................................- 19 -

Figure 7. At-risk Community Analysis Process .......................................................................- 20 -

Figure 8. Sage grouse. Bureau of Land Management Photo. ...................................................- 24 -

Figure 9. Map showing the Fire Protection Districts within Big Horn County........................- 25 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


Figure 10. Sage grouse lek locations, key areas and winter habitat and Sensitive plant species
locations in Big Horn County ...................................................................................................- 26 -

Figure 11. The 2007 Bear Creek Fire which burned approximately 650 acres. .......................- 27 -

Figure 12. Prescribed fire (left) and after fire and vegetation re-growth (right).......................- 29 -

Figure 13. Elk calf. TFS Photo .................................................................................................- 33 -


   LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. BHCCWPP At-risk Communities Land Ownership Area .........................................- 17 -

Table 2. 2010 BHCCWPP Addendum (River Bottom) Final WUI Rating .............................- 21 -




                                             Acknowlegements
    The development of this plan relied on efforts from the following individuals: Jim
    Waller (BH County Planner), Paul Morency (WSFD District Forester), Brian Russell
    (WSFD Assistant District Forester), Jack Mononi (BLM), Mike Wengert (BLM), Eve
    Warren (BLM), Tom Shirran (Hyattville Fire Chief), Bob Mangus (Fire Protection
    District #1), Jim Minchow (Lovell Fire Chief), Cecil Mullins (Manderson Fire Chief),
    Terry Mueller (Shell Fire Dept.), Butch Kraus (Burlington Fire Chief), Tom Easterly
    (WGFD/Greybull Fire Dept.), Jack Lindsey (USFS Cabin lease holder), Jake Jarrett
    (BH County Weed & Pest), John Hyde (Big Horn County Emergency Management
    Coordinator), Scotty Hinman (BH County Commissioner), Keith Grant (BH County
    Commissioner), Jerry Ewen ( BH County Commissioner), Marvin Hunt (BH County
    Assistant Firewise Coordinator), and Chris Weydeveld (BH County Firewise
    Coordinator)




Cover photo: The Dike Fire, Town of Greybull Wyoming city limits October 2007. Greybull Standard Photo.
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



                                   1.0 Executive Summary

The following pages are an Addendum to the Big Horn County Mountain CWPP dated March
31, 2005 (2005 CWPP). Funding for this Addendum has come in the form of a grant through the
National Fire Plan (Federal Grant No. 08-DG-11020000-005; CFDA #: 10.664). The grant has
been awarded to the Big Horn County Fire Warden and is administered by the Wyoming State
Forestry Division. A portion of this grant funding has been used to contract Technical Forestry
Services, LLC (TFS) as the Firewise Coordinator for Big Horn County.

This Addendum addresses that part of the County not analyzed in the 2005 CWPP. In general
this Addendum considers the wildland-urban interface (WUI) in the low lands or “river bottom”
areas within Big Horn County. The County consists of nine incorporated and three
unincorporated towns. At-risk-communities were determined by the Big Horn County
Community Wildfire Protection Plan Operating Group (OG) through discussions during a series
of OG meetings throughout 2009.

The purpose of the following Addendum is to identify at-risk communities, prioritize these
communities on the basis of fire risk, and make recommendations for reducing the chances of
catastrophic fire threatening these communities. This document will help coordinate activities
across jurisdictions and ownerships through the CWPP process before an emergency occurs in
order to reduce the chance of loss of life, and damage to infrastructure, homes, and natural
resources as a result of unforeseen and catastrophic wildfire.

Using the CWPP guidelines, an Operating Group was formed made up of local government
officials, local firefighting authorities, and state, county, municipal, and federal agency
representatives. This Addendum has been developed through the collaborative efforts of this
group.

The Operating Group has completed the following activities to date:

   •     Development of a working base map of the overall assessment area.

   •     Analysis of the occurrence of historical fires including number, size and cause.

   •     Review of previously completed documents analyzing the wildland-urban interface in
         Big Horn County.


                                                -5-
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


    •   Analysis of values-at-risk such as critical wildlife habitat, municipal watersheds and
        industrial infrastructure.

    •   Analysis of road access, building construction, utilities, water supplies, local firefighting
        capabilities and emergency response times in the WUI.

This information was then used to rank each at-risk community as low-, moderate-, and high-fire
risk.

Recommendations for reducing the risk of devastating fire were then developed.
Recommendations address the following considerations: Structural ignitability, Public outreach,
Fire suppression, Training, Emergency equipment needs, Railroad fireguards, Wildland fuels
treatments (prescribed fire, forest management activities, etc…), Defensible space and Planning
and Zoning. These considerations are addressed in more detail in Section 5.0.




Figure 1. Historical Cabins along Dry Medicine Lodge Creek in the Medicine Lodge State Archaeology Site, Big
Horn County, June 2009. TFS Photo.




                                                     -6-
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                         2.0 Introduction
This Addendum is an analysis of the threat of wildfire to at-risk communities in the river bottom
areas of Big Horn County, Wyoming. The purpose of this Addendum is to identify at-risk
communities and evaluate and classify those communities on the basis of overall risk from
catastrophic fire destroying structures, natural resources, wildlife habitat, critical infrastructure,
and human welfare including loss of life. Applying a collaborative process, at-risk communities
were identified then prioritized, based on a cumulative risk analysis, in order of need to initiate
fuels reduction treatments to reduce fire risk.

The Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA) legislation established incentives for
communities to develop comprehensive wildfire protection plans in collaboration with local
governments, local firefighting authorities, and state, county, municipal, and federal agencies.
Furthermore, this legislation gives direction to the Department of the Interior and Department of
Agriculture to address community priorities for fuel reduction treatments on federal and non-
federal lands.

The planning process was initiated by the formation of an Operating Group (OG), which is made
up of the following interests:

    •   local firefighting authorities

    •   state

    •   county

    •   municipal

    •   federal agencies                              BHCCWPP Operating Group Members assessing
                                                      WUI areas along the Hyattville Logging Road.


Forty communities in this Addendum are identified as being “at-risk” to wildfire and are
identified on the 2010 Big Horn County CWPP Base Map (see Figure 2). The process used to
classify these communities involved a relative comparison assigning risk ratings of high,
moderate, and low.


                                                  -7-
   Figure 2. Big Horn County 2010 CWPP Base Map - Page 1 of 6
                                                                                    Carbon County
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DEER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Page 1 of 6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8
                                                                Carbon County
                                                                                                                    Montana                                Figure 2. Big Horn County 2010 CWPP Base Map - Page 2 of 6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Big Horn County

   HWY 310
             LN 1
                                                                                                                  Wyoming                                                Gy
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DECA                                                                              Big Horn County
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          RD 19
                                                                                                                     RD
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sheridan County




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             R D 17
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RD 16




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           RD 18
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          18
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15
                                                                                       Montana   Figure 2. Big Horn County 2010 CWPP Base Map - Page 3 of 6
                                                                                                                                        Big Horn County




OBA
                                                                                       Wyoming                                                                        Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                     Community Wildfire
                                                                                                                                                                       Protection Plan
                                                                                                                                                                          Sheet B


                                                                                                                                                                      Ü   0     1.25   2.5



                                                                                                                                                                              November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                    5
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                                                                                                                                 BEGU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            32
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SH
Figure 2. Big Horn County 2010 CWPP Base Map - Page 4 of 6




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bi
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                                                                                                    RD 9
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    0                   1.25                  2.5                                 5
                                                            r    e ek                                      LN 35                                                 LN 35                                                                                                                                                                                         HWY 14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             LN 35                                                                                                                                                                                 Miles
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                                                       Dr                                                                                                                                                                                                                         4
                                                                                   LN 36
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             33
                                                                                   LN 37
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                                                                                                                                                                                 39
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                                                                                                                                                                                                    RD 17
                                                                                                           LN 40 1/2                                                                                                  1/ 2                  LN 40




                                                                                                                                                                         RD 15
                            1   /2                                                                                                                                                                               39




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             RD 23




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                                                                                                                                                                                                 1/2
                                                                                                                                                                                               16
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 35


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LN 50

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LN 50 1/2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             LN 51




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   /20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         43




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               H W Y 16




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Page 4 of 6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Washakie County
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                                                                                                     17
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          SACR              t                                 Figure 2. Big Horn County 2010 CWPP Base Map - Page 5 of 6




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34                                                                                                                                                                                       WHCR                                                                                                                                                                                                        Miles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    November 2009
                                                                                                                         33
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           BACR




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                                                                                                                                                                                             Washakie County                                                                                                               DEER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Page 5 of 6
Figure 2. Big Horn County 2010 CWPP Base Map - Page 6 of 6
                                                                                                                                                           Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                       Community Wildfire Protection
                                              2009 BHC-CWPP                                                        BHC-CWPP 2005
 Communtiy #                                    Community Name                                Ranking   Map Code             Community Name      Ranking
     1           Basin (Town)                                                                High        PORC      Porcupine                  High
     2           Manderson (Town)                                                            High        MELO      Medicine Lodge             High
     3           Lovell (Town)                                                               High        BEGU      Bear Gulch                 High
     4           Greybull (Town)                                                             High        SPPO      Spanish Point              High
     5           Shell (Town)                                                                High        BROK      Brokenback                 High
     6           Hyattville (Town)                                                           High        PARO      Paintrock                  High
     7           Paintrock Creek (Hyattville to Nowood River confluence)                     High        DECA      Devils Canyon              High
     8           Medicine Lodge Creek & Paintrock Creek (2005 CWPP boundary to Hyattville)   High        DEER      Deer Haven                 Moderate
     9           Greybull River (Park Co. line to Bighorn River confluence)                  Moderate    RACR      Ranger Creek               Low
    10           Bighorn River (Greybull to Basin)                                           Moderate    GRCR      Granite Creek              Low
    11           Bighorn River (Basin to Manderson)                                          Moderate    SIBU      Sitting Bull               Low
    12           Bighorn River (Manderson to Washakie Co. line)                              Moderate    BACR      Battle Creek               Low
    13           Byron (Town)                                                                Moderate    WTEN      West Tensleep              Low
    14           Bighorn River (Sheep Canyon to Yellowtail)**                                Moderate    WHCR      White Creek                Low
    15           Bighorn River (Greybull to Sheep Canyon)                                    Moderate    MEMO      Medicine Mtn               Low
    16           Shell Creek (Bighorn River to Town of Shell)                                Moderate    MEAD      Meadowlark                 Low
    17           Horse Creek                                                                 Moderate    SHFA      Shell Falls                Low
    18           Shell Creek & White Creek (Forest boundary to Town of Shell)                Moderate    BAMO      Bald Mountain              Low
    19           Nowood River (Washakie Co. line to Manderson)                               Moderate    LONG      Longview                   Low
    20           Renner Pond Area                                                            Moderate    SACR      Salt Creek                 Low
    21           Big Horn Lake                                                               Moderate    COBA      Cookstove Basin            Low
    22           Shoshone River (Lovell to Byron)                                            Moderate    HMRD      Hunt Mountain Rd           Low
    23           Shoshone River (Lovell to Bighorn River/Big Horn Lake)                      Moderate    SNPA      Snowshoe Pass              Low
    24           Dry Creek (Big Ole Emblem Draw)                                             Low         BLBU      Black Butte                Low
    25           Cowley (Town)                                                               Low         RENN      Renner Wildlife            Low
    26           Shoshone River (Byron to Park Co. Line)*                                    Low
    27           Whistle Creek                                                               Low
    28           Sand Draw                                                                   Low
    29           Foster Draw                                                                 Low
    30           Crystal Creek                                                               Low
    31           Bear Creek                                                                  Low
    32           Beaver Creek                                                                Low
    33           Trapper Creek (USFS boundary to confluence w/ Shell Cr.)                    Low
    34           Poverty Flats                                                               Low
    35           Alkali Creek                                                                Low
    36           Sage Creek (Montana State Line to Cowley)                                   Low
    37           Dorsey Creek                                                                Low
    38           Sage Creek (Lovell to Cowley)                                               Low
    39           Polecat Creek (Sage Creek to Park Co. Line)                                 Low
    40           Crooked Creek (Big Horn Lake to Montana State Line)                         Low

                     ** Includes Spence/Kane * Includes Byron Oil Field & Mantua Draw




                                                                                                                                                                           Page 6 of 6
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




2.1    Background

There has been much work done in Big Horn County in the area of WUI planning and
mitigation. This work has been through the combined efforts of United States Forest Service
(USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) fire staff, the Wyoming State Forestry Division
(WSFD), local Conservation Districts, Big Horn County, and the Big Horn County Fire Districts.
In March of 2005 the Big Horn County Mountain CWPP was completed identifying and
prioritizing at-risk communities in the mountainous portions of the County. During the time
period from 2005 to September 2009, over 14,000 acres of fuels treatments occurred in the
County (See map in Appendix 4).1 Additionally, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) efforts
on the part of the USFS, BLM, and the Big Horn County Planner have resulted in the
development of an extensive spatial database consisting of map “layers” of structures, roads,
fuels, disease and insect activity, fuels treatment activities, historical fire occurrence, fire regime
and condition class, and vegetation. Using this data, Big Horn County developed the 2005 Big
Horn County Mountain CWPP Base Map. Through the 2008 Firewise Grant and the
development of the Big Horn County CWPP Addendum (Addendum), the Base Map has been
updated and revised to reflect the additional communities as well as updated spatial data (see
Figure 2).

2.2    Wildland-Urban Interface

The WUI is defined in: Wildland Urban Interface Communities Within the Vicinity of Federal
Lands That Are at High Risk From Wildfire, issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and the
Secretary of the Interior in accordance with Title IV of the Department of the Interior and
Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (114 Stat. 1009) (66 Fed. Reg. 753, January 4,
2001). The WUI is commonly described as the zone where structures and other features of
human development meet and intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels.
Communities within the WUI face risk to life, property, and infrastructure.




1
 Treatments include timber harvest, timber stand improvement (TSI), invasive species eradication, prescribed fire,
aspen regeneration projects and other mechanical fuels treatments conducted by private, state, county and federal
entities.


                                                       -9-
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




Figure 3. Globe Canal within the Town of Lovell, Wyoming. Big Horn County. July 2009.


2.3       At-risk Community

The term “at-risk community” is defined as an area:

      •    That is comprised of a WUI (as defined above);

      •    In which conditions are conducive to a large-scale wildland fire disturbance event; and

      •    For which a significant threat to human life or property exists as a result of a wildland
           fire disturbance event.

2.4       Forest Health

Wyoming’s low elevation riparian forests are in decline. Aging tree populations combined with a
general lack of successful regeneration has resulted in the rapid decline of riparian forests in
recent years. Invasive non-native species such as Russian olive and salt cedar (tamarisk) have



                                                   - 10 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


extensively invaded some riparian areas, outcompeting native species, significantly reducing the
quality of wildlife habitat, and contributing to diminishing stream flow.2




Figure 4. View looking north at the Big Horn River and the 2007 Dike Fire which burned approximately eight acres
in the riparian area within the Town of Greybull city limits. The predominant vegetation visible along the river bank
is a combination of Russian olive and tamarisk (salt cedar). Photo by Nathan Oster.




2
 WSFD 2009. Wyoming State Forestry Division, Office of State Lands and Investments; Wyoming statewide forest
resource assessment; Describing conditions, trends, threats and priorities. September 2009. pp 60. http://slf-
web.state.wy.us/forestry/adobe/StatewideAssessment.pdf


                                                       - 11 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


2.5     Relevant Fire Policies

2.5.1    State Policies

Each year an Interagency Group convenes to review and develop the: Wildland Fire
Management Annual Operating Plan for Big Horn County. This document provides an annual
update of policies governing wildland fires in Big Horn County. This document is available by
contacting the Wyoming State Forestry Division at (307) 777-7586.

2.5.2    Federal Policies

  2.5.2.1 The National Fire Plan (NFP)

The NFP was funded by the U.S. Congress in 2001 to reduce hazardous fuels and restore the
ecological health of forests and rangeland. In response, the Secretaries of Agriculture and the
Interior, along with Western Governors and other interested parties, developed a 10-year strategy
and implementation plan for protecting communities and the environment
(http://www.forestsandrangelands.gov/NFP/overview.shtml). The NFP, coupled with the Federal
Wildland Fire Management Policy (2001), forms a framework for Federal agencies, States,
Tribes, local governments, and communities to reduce the threat of fire, improve the condition of
the land, restore forest and rangeland health, and reduce risk to communities.

Since the inception of the NFP administrative procedures and processes governing preparation of
projects to reduce hazardous fuel and restore healthy ecological conditions on Federal land have
undergone many changes. Many of these changes have occurred as a result of directives stated in
the Healthy Forests Initiative (HFI), launched in 2002, and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act
(HFRA), passed in December 2003. The HFRA provides improved statutory processes for
hazardous-fuel reduction projects on certain types of at-risk National Forest System (NFS) and
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and also provides other authorities and direction to
help reduce hazardous fuel and restore healthy forest and rangeland conditions on lands of all
ownerships (USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management 2004).

The four components of the HFI and HFRA which help to implement fire protection projects at
the local level are:



                                              - 12 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


1. On lands in or adjacent to the wildland-urban interfaces of at-risk communities and other at-
   risk federal lands, work in collaboration with communities in setting priorities and, as
   appropriate, in developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans;

2. Develop the project information needed to determine whether proposed projects can use the
   improved HFI and HFRA authorities;

3. Use the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) process identified for HFI and
   HFRA projects; and

4. Fund, implement, and monitor the HFI and HFRA projects.

  2.5.2.2 Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan Revision

The Bureau of Land Management issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) on October 17, 2008 to
prepare the Bighorn Basin (BB) Resource Management Plan (RMP) Revision and associated
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The BB RMP Revision Project is a combined effort
revising RMPs for both the BLM Cody and BLM Worland Field Offices. Public lands within the
field offices are currently managed according to three RMPs: the Washakie RMP (1988) and
Grass Creek RMP (1998) for the Worland Field Office; and the Cody RMP (1990). The field
offices will produce a single RMP and EIS encompassing both field offices that will be called the
Bighorn Basin RMP Project. Each field office will issue its own Record of Decision for its
jurisdictional area.

2.5.2.3 Other USDI BLM Documents

Two documents regarding fire management are available on the USDI BLM Wyoming web site:
http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Fire/planning.html. These documents include:

    •    Fire Management Plan – 2004

        United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, May 4, 2004

    •    Fire Management Implementation Plan - 1998

        Fire Management Implementation Plan for the BLM Administered Lands in the State of
Wyoming, July 1998




                                              - 13 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


2.5.3   Other Polices and Coordinating Groups

Other policies and groups include: the Wyoming Interagency Cooperative Fire Protection
Agreement, Wyoming Interagency Fire Restriction Plan, Wyoming State Forestry Division Mini
Fire Mobilization Plan (http://slf-web.state.wy.us/forestry/adobe/miniplan.pdf).

2.5.3.1 Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)

Wilderness Study Areas and ACECs are identified on the Base Map in Figure 2. To the extent
possible, management prescriptions would be compatible with those proposed for BLM
administered public lands.

The use of herbicides and insecticides to treat vegetation or pest outbreaks would be considered
on a case-by-case basis. If approved, cultural practices (like pulling, mowing, beneficial insect
controls, and prescribed fire) would be preferred over chemicals. Aerial spraying is discouraged.

Basal vegetative cover will be maintained to maximize ground cover in good or better ecological
condition commensurate with the potential of the ecological site. Agreements for cooperative
management of surface activities in watersheds on USFS and private lands would be obtained
when possible.

When thinning in WSAs, treat the stumps using best management practices, seed as necessary,
and spray cheatgrass with approved chemicals as necessary.


When thinning in the Spanish Point ACEC with hand equipment or track mounted Bobcat, stump
treatment cannot be done with: imazypyr, triclopyr, sulfometuron methyl, glyphosate, picloram,
hexazione, 2,4-D, or tebuthiuron.

Seed the area following treatment, as necessary, to improve or maintain the understory and
generally protect the watershed.




                                               - 14 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


2.6       Existing Fire Control Documents

In addition to federal and state agency fire related documents described above, other planning
documents include the 2005 Big Horn County Mountain CWPP (2005 CWPP) and the (RAMS)
Wildland Fire Risk Assessment (2003) 3, both developed by private contractors.

                                      3.0 Community Description

“At-risk” Community Delineation Process

Wildland-urban interface areas were determined using criteria specified in the HFRA. After the
WUI areas were identified, boundaries around these areas were established based generally on
topographic and vegetative features considered capable of affecting fire behavior. The process of
delineating WUI boundaries involved collaboration between the Big Horn County Fire Warden
and district fire chiefs, USFS and BLM fire specialists, the Wyoming State Forestry Division
(WSFD), county commissioners, planners, and natural resource specialists. The resulting Base
Map underwent revisions by the OG before the final draft was adopted. The guiding document
for determination of at-risk communities and the consequent prioritization process is titled: Field
Guidance. Identifying and Prioritizing Communities at Risk, prepared by the National
Association of State Foresters, July 27, 2003 (See Appendix 1).

Additional methodology used to develop the boundaries of the identified at-risk communities
included but was not limited to the following:
          a.   ½ mile (2,640 ft) buffer on either side of the main river/creek channel (1 mile total
               width).
          b. 1 mile radius from the center of towns




3
    RAMS is a process for developing prevention and fuels management programs. RAMS allows users to prioritize
areas within their planning unit, consider various prevention and/or fuels treatment alternatives, and develop a
budget. RAMS includes three components: 1) Assessment, 2) Prevention, and 3) Fuels. The assessment portion of
RAMS is intended to identify the highest priority areas in which to consider fuels and/or prevention work. In the fire
prevention module, users develop one or more fire prevention options, with costs and work details. The RAMS fuels
analysis identifies potential fuels treatment strategies and projects. A final report is printed from RAMS and shows
the Assessment, Prevention, or Fuels work.



                                                        - 15 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


       c. Boundaries adjusted as needed in response to direction from the OG. Some town
          buffers, for example, extended into the desert and did not serve to address areas
          considered “at-risk”. In these situations at-risk community boundaries were edited to
          reflect changes needed.

Certain river/creek segments were eliminated due to an absence of structures and/or minimal or
no hazardous fuels present.




Figure 5. The “Dike Fire” within the Town of Greybull city limits between the dike and walk path (foreground) and
the Bighorn River. The fuels complex consisted of Russian olive, tamarisk, cottonwood, willow, sagebrush,
greasewood, rabbitbrush, grasses, forbs and down and dead woody materials. October, 2007 Photo by Nathan Oster.


3.1   Public Outreach in Big Horn County


The Big Horn County Firewise Grant awarded to the County Fire Warden for 2009 and 2010 is
being utilized to provide public outreach to the community. Public meetings were held at the
Shell Ranger Station in June and the Town of Lovell in July of 2009. Additional public meetings
are planned for the summer of 2010. During the spring of 2009, information on Firewise
standards was sent to cabin owners identified in the 2005 CWPP.




                                                     - 16 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


3.2   Community Description


The assessment area contains 40 communities and comprises 262,700 acres (see Table 1). A
complete description of each community including vegetation and weather characteristics is
beyond the scope of this document. A general description of vegetation zones expected to occur
in the assessment area can be found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Technical/efotg/ . Historical
weather data for the area can be found at the Western Regional Climate Center website:
www.wrcc.dri.edu.



Table 1. BHCCWPP At-risk Communities Land Ownership Area

WUI Number         WUI Name                                                     Land Area (Acres)

1                  Dry Creek (Big Ole Emblem Draw)                              20215

2                  Whistle Creek                                                5794

3                  Foster Draw                                                  4074

4                  Sage Creek (Montana State Line to Cowley)                    8397

5                  Nowood River (Washakie Co. line to Manderson)                12707

6                  Big Horn Lake                                                21782

7                  Medicine Lodge Creek & Paintrock Creek (2005 CWPP)           3863

8                  Greybull River (Park Co. line to Bighorn River confluence)   20998

9                  Bighorn River (Manderson to Washakie Co. line)               5742

10                 Bighorn River (Basin to Manderson)                           5031

11                 Bighorn River (Greybull to Basin)                            3440

12                 Shell Cr & White Cr (Forest boundary to Town of Shell)       3100

13                 Trapper Creek (USFS boundary to confluence w/ Shell Cr.)     6269

14                 Horse Creek                                                  2985

15                 Beaver Creek                                                 11191

16                 Shell Creek (Bighorn River to Town of Shell)                 9700

17                 Bear Creek                                                   14228


                                                - 17 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


18             Crystal Creek                                             8803

19             Sand Draw                                                 4577

20             Shoshone River (Lovell to Bighorn River/Big Horn Lake)    5326

21             Sage Creek (Lovell to Cowley)                             1530

22             Shoshone River (Lovell to Byron)                          2306

23             Polecat Creek (Sage Creek to Park Co. Line)               2363

24             Shoshone River (Byron to Park Co. Line)*                  5053

25             Dorsey Creek                                              11337

26             Alkali Creek                                              5418

27             Paintrock Creek (Hyattville to Nowood River confluence)   4065

28             Crooked Creek (Big Horn Lake to Montana State Line)       7606

29             Bighorn River (Sheep Canyon to Yellowtail)**              10726

30             Bighorn River (Greybull to Sheep Canyon)                  6152

31             Lovell (Town)                                             6463

32             Cowley (Town)                                             5011

33             Byron (Town)                                              4974

34             Poverty Flats                                             3478

35             Basin (Town)                                              5131

36             Manderson (Town)                                          3552

37             Greybull (Town)                                           5991

38             Shell (Town)                                              1995

39             Hyattville (Town)                                         2319

40             Renner Pond Area                                          2509

TOTAL                                                                    276200




                                           - 18 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



This Addendum identifies the at-risk communities in Figure 2. Using HFRA criteria and
guidance published in the Federal Register, these communities are all considered at-risk. The
current surrounding land conditions are conducive to a large-scale wildland fire, and such a
wildfire in their vicinity could threaten human life and property.




Figure 6. View of the 1996 North Brokenback Fire looking south west from the Hyattville Logging Road into the
Big Horn Basin. Big Horn County Wyoming, August 26, 2009. At the time of writing, planned subdivisions in this
area are underway. TFS Photo.


                                    4.0 Community Assessment
The purpose of this Addendum is to identify at-risk communities, prioritize these communities
for hazardous fuels reduction treatments, and make recommendations for reducing the chances of
catastrophic fire. As described above a total of 40 at-risk communities are identified in the Big
Horn County River Bottom assessment area. The communities underwent an analysis process to
set priorities for hazardous fuels reduction treatments. This analysis process is illustrated in


                                                    - 19 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


Figure 7. It is important to note that the 40 communities underwent a relative comparison
process to classify them into a roughly equal distribution of low, moderate and high fire risk.

Figure 7. At-risk Community Analysis Process




                                                 Operating Group
                                               Identifies WUI Areas
                                                and Determines At-
                                                 Risk Community
                                                    Boundaries




                  Operating Group               Operating Group        Operating Group
                  conducted office              conducted office       conducted office
                   discussions on                discussions on         discussions on
                  Fire Hazard in                  Community               Structure
                  Assessment Area
                                                    Layouts              Ignitability




                       Emergency                 Values-At Risk
                       Management                 Discussions         Fire Risk
                       Capabilities                                   Rating
                        Evaluation




                                               Final Priority List




                                                    - 20 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




4.1   Final WUI Rating

Fire Hazard, Fire Risk, Values-at-risk and Community Layout considerations were among the
parameters used to determine a Final WUI Rating of the 40 at-risk communities in the
assessment area (Table 2).

Table 2. 2010 BHCCWPP Addendum (River Bottom) Final WUI Rating

WUI No.        WUI Name                                                            Priority

8              Medicine Lodge Cr & Paintrock Cr (2005 CWPP bdry to Hyattville)     High

7              Paintrock Creek (Hyattville to Nowood River confluence)             High

3              Lovell (Town)                                                       High

1              Basin (Town)                                                        High

2              Manderson (Town)                                                    High

4              Greybull (Town)                                                     High

5              Shell (Town)                                                        High

6              Hyattville (Town)                                                   High

19             Nowood River (Washakie Co. line to Manderson)                       Moderate

21             Big Horn Lake                                                       Moderate

9              Greybull River (Park Co. line to Bighorn River confluence)          Moderate

12             Bighorn River (Manderson to Washakie Co. line)                      Moderate

11             Bighorn River (Basin to Manderson)                                  Moderate

10             Bighorn River (Greybull to Basin)                                   Moderate

18             Shell Cr & White Cr (Forest boundary to Town of Shell)              Moderate

17             Horse Creek                                                         Moderate

16             Shell Creek (Bighorn River to Town of Shell)                        Moderate

23             Shoshone River (Lovell to Bighorn River/Big Horn Lake)              Moderate

22             Shoshone River (Lovell to Byron)                                    Moderate

14             Bighorn River (Sheep Canyon to Yellowtail)**                        Moderate


                                                - 21 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


15             Bighorn River (Greybull to Sheep Canyon)                               Moderate

13             Byron (Town)                                                           Moderate

20             Renner Pond Area                                                       Moderate

24             Dry Creek (Big Ole Emblem Draw)                                        Low

27             Whistle Creek                                                          Low

29             Foster Draw                                                            Low

36             Sage Creek (Montana State Line to Cowley)                              Low

33             Trapper Cr (USFS boundary to confluence w/ Shell Cr.)                  Low

32             Beaver Creek                                                           Low

31             Bear Creek                                                             Low

30             Crystal Creek                                                          Low

28             Sand Draw                                                              Low

38             Sage Creek (Lovell to Cowley)                                          Low

39             Polecat Creek (Sage Creek to Park Co. Line)                            Low

26             Shoshone River (Byron to Park Co. Line)*                               Low

37             Dorsey Creek                                                           Low

35             Alkali Creek                                                           Low

40             Crooked Creek (Big Horn Lake to Montana State Line)                    Low

25             Cowley (Town)                                                          Low

34             Poverty Flats                                                          Low


This Final WUI Rating will serve as a priority list for addressing hazardous fuels conditions and
administer fuels treatments aimed at reducing those hazards and the risk of catastrophic fire. The
method used for determining the Final WUI Rating is described below. At the time of writing,
Wildfire Mitigation Plans have been developed for the communities of Greybull and Manderson.




                                               - 22 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




Methodology

The Big Horn CWPP Operating Group met in a series of meetings over the course of the winter,
spring, summer and fall of 2009. During these meetings each community was discussed and
evaluated and given a priority rating of low, moderate and high based on empirical knowledge of
the communities. In addition to fire hazard and fire occurrence (Appendix 7), the following
criteria were used in the evaluation: Is the community in a fire protection district? Does the
community have adequate emergency management resources? What is the condition of access
into the community? Are there good roads (ingress/egress), are there bridges? What are weight
limits? What is the structure density like? What kind of building materials are used on the
structures? What are the fuels conditions? Are there easily accessible water sources? Is the
topography favorable for increased fire activity?

The towns of Otto, Frannie, Deaver and Burlington (west of the Prader Bean Plant), were
omitted from consideration due to the low risk from wildfire associated with those towns.

4.1.1   Emergency Management Capabilities

Big Horn County has Fire Protection Districts that cover a portion of the County (See Figure 9).
According to the CWPP OG, overall, the County has a capable emergency management
infrastructure. An absence of a fire protection district in the areas surrounding Greybull, Shell
and Hyattville could become an increasing concern. Fire Protection Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are
all included in the Cooperative Fire Management Agreement with WSFD and all the federal fire
management agencies. The Districts share mutual aid resources with the USFS, and BLM. The
Districts have access to all available resources including air tankers, helicopters, engines, crews,
and incident management teams.

4.1.2   Values-at-risk

While determining priorities the OG considered values such as utilities, municipal water
supplies, and industrial infrastructure, and the importance of these values within the at-risk
community boundaries.




                                               - 23 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



  4.1.2.1 Wildlife habitat

Critical big game winter range is considered a valued resource and occurs within at-risk
communities. Sage grouse leks, key areas and winter habitat are present within Big Horn County
and at-risk communities (see Figure 10). While wildfire is generally beneficial to most wildlife
species, negative impacts can occur where significant areas of sagebrush are burned within
crucial mule deer winter range and sage-grouse breeding and winter habitats.




Figure 8. Sage grouse. Bureau of Land Management Photo.


Fuels reduction treatments in riparian areas focused on the removal of the invasive species
Russian olive and tamarisk should be followed up with the planting of native plant species that
are adapted to a fire environment.


 “It is essential that both the assessment process and the prioritization of projects be done
 collaboratively, with all agencies with fire protection jurisdiction – federal, state, local, and tribal –
 and interested stakeholders, taking an active role.” Field Guidance. Identifying and Prioritizing
 Communities at Risk, prepared by the National Association of State Foresters, July 27, 2003 (See
 Appendix 1).




                                                  - 24 -
Figure 9. Fire Protection Districts
                                Carbon County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                                    Montana
                                                                                                                                                                                   Wyoming
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Big Horn County
                                  Frannie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fire Districts
                                                                                                         Fire District #1

                          Fire District #5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Legend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MT. WY Border                 Fire District #2 (Basin)                    Incorporated Towns               Department of Defense
                                                 Deaver
                                                              HWY 310
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Roads                                 Fire District #3 (Manderson)                County                           Forest Service

                                                                  Cowley                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    County                        Fire District #4 (Burlington)               Bighorn NF Boundary              National Park Service




                                                                                                                      HWY 37
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Sheridan County                                      State                         Fire District #5 (Deaver/Frannie)   Surface Ownership                        Private
                                                                                                Lovell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fire District BNDRY                   Greybull 5 Mile Radius                      Bureau of Land Management        State
                                                                                 A
                                                                            14                                                                                   HW                                                                                                                                         Fire District #1 (Lovell)                                                 Bureau of Reclamation
                                                                        Y                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Park County Fire District #1
                                                                                                                                                                   Y
                                                                      HW                                                                                               14




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ü
                                                              A                                                                                                             A




                                                                                              HWY 33
                                                           14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0              2.5          5                           10
                                                       Y
                                                     HW                                                                        Fire District #1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Miles
                                                                   Byron
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Source: Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Planning Office January 2009



                  Park County Fire District #1
                                                  HWY
                                                      32




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           HWY 14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            st
    Park County                                                                                             HWY 14/16/20

                                                                                                                                                                       Greybull
                                                                                     HWY 30




                                                                                              Burlington
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Johnson County
                                                                                                                                                                                                 HWY 16/20
                                                                                                            HWY 30
                                                                                                                                                                                        HWY 36




                                                                                                                                                                                Basin
                                                                                                                                                         Fire District #2


                                                              Fire District #4




                                                                                                                                                                                                             Manderson                                                    HWY 31
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     HW




                                                                                                                                                                                  Fire District #3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Y
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           /2 0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                HWY 433




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Y1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Washakie County



                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -25-
                                Carbon County                                                                                                                Big Horn County

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Montana                                     Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                                                  DECA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     COBA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wyoming




                                                                                                                               Y 37
                                                                                                                                                                               !                                                                                                                    Community Wildfire Protection Plan




                                                                                                                           W




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                                                                                                   40                                                  !                                          !
                                            36
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                                                                                                                                                 21
                                                                                  25
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                           4                                                                                                                                              !




                                     H
                       Y 11                WY 3 1 0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Leks & Sensitive Plant Species
                     HW                                                                                          23
                                                                                       38
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 PORC
                                                                                               3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Legend
                                     39
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sheridan County                                                                                                                                               !
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lakes                          MT. WY Border                          CWPP COMMUNITY            !
                                                                     22                                                                                                                                           MEMO                                                                                                                                                                                                                          !
                                                                                                                      28
                                                                                                                                                           HW
                                                 13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Major Streams                  Incorporated Towns                     Bighorn NF Boundary




                                                                         r
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                                                                                                                                                                      A
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                                                               ho n                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            !
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                                                       Sh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    County                         2005 CWPP BNDY                         Sage Grouse Leks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               !
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BAMO                                                                                        State
                                                                                                                                                                                             30
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            !                                                                                                                               0             2.5      5                        10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Miles
                                                                                                                                                      14                                                               !
                                                      27
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 !                                                                                                                          Source: Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ü                          Planning Office January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      HMRD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     !




                                     HWY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       31




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                !
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Figure 10. Sage grouse lek and sensitive plant species locations in Big Horn County




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       DEER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Washakie County                                                                                                 !
!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         !
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              !
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



            5.0 Recommendations for Reducing Risk of Catastrophic Fire
Sections 2.0 and 3.0 provide a Base Map and list of at-risk communities for the area assessed in
this Addendum. Information considered when identifying and prioritizing at-risk communities
include: physical environment, ecological health, relevant fire policies (guiding fuels reduction
nationally and locally), and existing fire control documents. Section 3.0 outlines the process used
for delineating the at-risk communities. Section 4.0 defines the analysis process used to assess
overall fire risk, and from that analysis, sets priorities for hazardous fuels reduction treatments.

The current section recommends fuels treatments, administrative actions, policy changes, and
other management considerations aimed at mitigating the potential for catastrophic wildland fire
within the WUI.




Figure 11. The 2007 Bear Creek Fire which burned approximately 650 acres. Down slope winds in the evening
reversed the upslope direction of this fire and forced it down slope towards the rangeland in the foreground of the
photo and the CWPP at-risk community #31 (Bear Creek). Values-at-risk included structures within five miles of the
fire. The Town of Shell Wyoming is 14 miles to the south of the fire location. Photo courtesy of Candy Dooley.




                                                      - 27 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


5.1       Recommendations for Land Treatments

All fuels reduction projects will be designed and implemented in accordance with section 102 of
HFRA. The HFRA requires authorized projects to be planned and conducted consistent with
resource management plans and other relevant administrative policies and decisions that apply to
the federal lands covered by the project (Section 102(b)). The HFRA also prohibits authorized
projects in wilderness areas, formal wilderness study areas, and Federal lands where an act of
Congress or Presidential proclamation prohibits or restricts removal of vegetation (Section
102(d)).

Before implementing land treatments on private land it is recommended that landowners consult
with the following entities:

      •    Wyoming Game and Fish regarding wildlife habitat impacts.

      •    US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding wetlands and threatened and endangered species.

      •    State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) regarding any known cultural resource sites
           in the planned treatment area.

The following fuels treatment recommendations are presented as examples of possible treatments
to be considered when developing a mitigation plan and site-specific project plans for the at-risk
communities.

5.1.1      Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fire is defined as management of ignited fire that is used to alter, maintain, or restore
vegetative communities to achieve desired resource conditions. It is also used to protect life,
property, and values that would be degraded by wildland fire (USDI BLM, 2000).




                                                - 28 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




Figure 12. Bureau of Land Management, Cody Field Office area watershed enhancement/fuel reduction work. The
photos show before prescribed fire (left) and after fire and vegetation re-growth (right). BLM Photos.


Prescribed fire can be beneficial in a fire adapted ecosystem where fire has been absent or
suppressed. Prescribed fire aids in natural succession, and reduces uncharacteristic fuel loading.
Prescribed fire is an especially useful tool for removing conifer encroachment, (particularly
limber pine and juniper), into sagebrush communities. This is important for maintaining wildlife
habitat.

Prescribed fire plans are prepared prior to the project to identify site-specific treatment objectives
and how those objectives are to be met through the use of fire. With the oversight of qualified
fire specialists and forest managers, utilize prescribed fire; mechanical, and chemical treatments
to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest and rangeland health.

5.1.2      Riparian Area Fuels Modifications

Riparian vegetation in those communities with river bottoms should be analyzed further for
treatments to reduce fire hazard. As a cautionary note, removing or crushing vegetation, and
disturbing soils in riparian areas can increase erosion if stream banks are exposed. Soft hydric
soils are easily compacted by machinery. Soil compaction can alter vegetation dynamics and
may interrupt hydrologic functions. See Appendix 3 which describes fuels treatments in a
Russian olive and tamarisk (salt cedar) fuels complex.




                                                       - 29 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                        Best Management Practices

      The Wyoming State Forestry Division has developed a set of Best Management Practices
      (BMPs) to be followed when conducting forest management practices. Copies of these BMPs
      can be obtained by contacting WSFD in Cheyenne at (307) 777-7586.



5.1.3      Miscellaneous

Grazing of fine fuels by wildlife and livestock reduces surface fire spread and intensity.
Encourage grazing in areas around structures only if forage production is adequate to maintain
rangeland health.

Coordinate with the Big Horn County Fire Warden on identifying funds that may be available for
assisting private land owners with hazardous fuels reduction projects.

5.2       Recommendations for Reducing Structural Ignitability

Implement Firewise recommended practices to reduce structural ignitability in the home ignition
zone. Firewise practices are defined in detail on the Firewise website at: www.firewise.org. The
County Fire Warden, local fire district staff, Wyoming State Forestry Division personnel, or the
Firewise Coordinator can assist with recommendations for reducing structure ignitability.

Evaluate the possibilities for installing sprinkler systems around structures as an option open to
home owners in areas with limited options for reducing structure ignitability.

Refer to the Big Horn County Planning and Zoning Guidelines implemented in the winter of
2010 and available through the Big Horn County Planning office at: (307) 568-2424.

5.3       Recommendations for Promoting Public Outreach

      •    Coordinate with local realtors and the County Planner to distribute information regarding
           Firewise planning in the WUI.

      •    Education programs for home owners would emphasize:


                                                 - 30 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


              o Forest health, the natural role of fire, and insect and disease issues.

              o The importance of creating defensible space around structures and the various
                incentives available to landowners to accomplish these goals.

              o Formation of community Firewise action groups.

              o Use of fire resistant building materials.

      •    Outreach to railroad, oil development, power and pipeline companies.

      •    Assist the local Conservation Districts in the dissemination of accurate information on the
           WUI and related topics.

      •    Begin a quarterly Firewise newsletter to keep residents in the WUI informed of
           mitigation measures and other information critical to defense against catastrophic fire.

5.4       Recommendations for Emergency Management Services

Fire suppression

      •    Identify locations for “dry” hydrants or other water sources in areas without readily
           available water supplies

      •    Form Fire Protection Districts in those areas currently not under administration by a
           district. See Figure 9 for a map showing the land coverage of fire districts in Big Horn
           County.

Training

      •    Continue the aggressive training program in wildland firefighting principles. Encourage
           interagency fire training and communication. Utilize the State Fire Trainer located at the
           Wyoming Fire Academy in Riverton, Wyoming.

Emergency Equipment

      •    Continually analyze and upgrade emergency equipment needs in the County

5.5       Recommendations for Policy Changes

Work toward including all of Big Horn County into fire protection districts. The Operating
Group had no other recommendations for changes in policy at the time of the CWPP finalization.



                                                  - 31 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


5.6   Encourage Local Wood Products Industry

The economic downturn beginning during the last years of the 2000 – 2010 decade had a
significant impact to the wood products industry in Wyoming. Sawmills, both large and small,
were unable to survive the hardships and were forced to close. Big Horn County encourages the
participation of local contractors in fire mitigation work and the extraction of saleable materials
from fuel reduction projects. Reducing the risk of catastrophic fires through utilization of woody
biomass is supported. This plan also encourages the development of markets and industries that
will utilize all size-classes of wood products resulting from hazardous fuel reduction activities.
Examples of possible income generating products/projects include but are not limited to:
biomass utilization (including co-generation capabilities), house logs, post and poles, firewood,
pellets, and mulch.

5.7   Miscellaneous

Planning and Zoning

Develop and promote planning recommendations for new home construction in the WUI based
on National Fire Protection Association Standards and the International Fire Code. Consult with
the County Fire Warden and local Fire District Chiefs for guidance on planning and zoning or
development standards. See Appendix 2 for an example of Planning and Zoning guidelines for
the WUI.

Wildland Industrial Interface

Contact interests in the Wildland-Industrial Interface (WII) such as oil, gas, and power
companies, pipelines and other ROW holders. Recommend fuels treatment projects and provide
information on funding opportunities.

Railroad Fireguards

Construct 50 foot buffers (25 feet on each side of tracks) along railroad tracks that transect at-
risk community boundaries. Maintain these fireguards annually to reduce the chances of railroad
fire ignitions escaping and burning into the WUI. See Appendix 5 for the Wyoming Department




                                                - 32 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


of Transportation rules for Fireguards on Railroad Property and see Appendix 6 for a map of rail
lines where fireguards are recommended.

Funding Opportunities

Contact the Big Horn County Fire Warden at (307) 568-2324 about funds that may be available
to assist private land owners with hazardous fuels reduction projects.

Wildlife Benefits

Wildlife habitat needs should be considered in project designs. Hazardous fuels reduction
treatments aimed at reducing chances of catastrophic fire may benefit wildlife where early
succession habitats are desired. Big game in particular can benefit from treatments that remove
conifer overstory if grasses, forbs and shrubs (forage) were limited. The availability of adequate
hiding and security cover should always be considered.




Figure 13. Elk calf. TFS Photo




                                              - 33 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                   7.0 Literature Cited

National Interagency Fire Center. 2003. Total fires and Acres 1960-2002. Available online at
http://www.nifc.gov/stats/wildlandfirestats.html.

Mini Fire Mobilization 2008 Plan, Wyoming State Forestry Division. http://slf-
web.state.wy.us/forestry/adobe/miniplan.pdf

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 2004. WY Northern Zone Fire
Management Plan. Worland Field Office, Worland, Wyoming.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of
Land Management. 2004. The Healthy Forests Initiative and Healthy Forests Restoration Act:
Interim Field Guide. FS-799. Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Wildland Fire Policy, 2001. http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/management/policy.html




                                             - 37 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                           8.0 Appendixes

8.1       Appendix 1. Field Guidance. Identifying and Prioritizing Communities at Risk.

                                       FIELD GUIDANCE

                     Identifying and Prioritizing Communities at Risk

                        Prepared by: National Association of State Foresters

                                             June 27, 2003




Purpose: To provide national, uniform guidance for implementing the provisions of the
“Collaborative Fuels Treatment” MOU, and to satisfy the requirements of Task e, Goal 4 of the
Implementation Plan for the 10-Year Comprehensive Strategy.

Intent: The intent is to establish broad, nationally compatible standards for identifying and
prioritizing communities at risk, while allowing for maximum flexibility at the State and regional
level. Three basic premises are:

      •    Include all lands and all ownerships.

      •    Use a collaborative process that is consistent with the complexity of land ownership
           patterns, resource management issues, and the number of interested stakeholders.

      •    Set priorities by evaluating projects, not by ranking communities.

References:

      1. A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the
           Environment. 10-Year Comprehensive Strategy Implementation Plan. May 2002. (Goal
           4 Task e: “Develop nationally comparable definitions for identifying at-risk wildland


                                                   - 38 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


       urban interface communities and a process for prioritizing communities within State and
       tribal jurisdiction.”) (Available at: http://www.fireplan.gov/reports).

   2. Memorandum of Understanding for the Development of a Collaborative Fuels Treatment
       Program. January 13, 2003. (Available at: http://www.fireplan.gov/reports).

   3. Concept Paper: Communities at Risk. National Association of State Foresters (NASF),
       December 2, 2002. (Available at: http://www.stateforesters.org/reports).

   4. Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Hazard Assessment Methodology. NWCG, undated (circa
       1997). (Available through the NWCG Publications Management System (PMS), NIFC
       Catalog number NFES 1597.)

Definition – Community at Risk: For the purpose of this document, a community is defined as
“a group of people living in the same locality and under the same government” (The American
Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1969). A community is considered at risk from
wildland fire if it lies within the wildland/urban interface as defined in the federal register (FR
Vol. 66, No. 3, Pages 751-754, January 4, 2001).

Approach:

   1. Identify communities at risk (or alternately, landscapes of similar risk) on a state-by-state
       basis with the involvement of all organizations with wildland fire protection
       responsibilities (State, local, tribal, and federal) along with other interested cooperators,
       partners, and stakeholders. Alternately, in some locations this may be more easily done
       on a geographic basis through the already existing Geographic Area Coordinating
       Groups.

           •   Using the 2000 census data (or other suitable means) identify all communities in
               the state that are in the wildland-urban interface and that are at risk from wildland
               fire, regardless of their proximity to federal lands. Ideally, the results of this
               effort would be displayed on a map or series of maps.

           •   Develop state-specific criteria for sorting communities (or landscapes) into three,
               broad categories (or zones) of relative risk, using the methodology described in


                                                - 39 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


              the following section. You also may want to include a fourth category denoting
              little, or no significant risk.

          •   Prioritize the categories/zones as high, medium, and low. Alternately, a
              classification of very high, high, and moderate may be more appropriate
              depending upon fuel types. Again, you may have a fourth category/zone that you
              would prioritize as having little, or no significant risk.

          •   Using the identified criteria, sort communities (or landscapes) into each of the
              three categories or zones of risk. The product may be map-based with lines or
              colors depicting the three zones on a map or series of maps. In this case, all
              communities that fall within the same zone would be classified as having an
              equivalent degree of relative risk. Alternately, in some states cooperators may
              choose to use a written document to display how communities have been
              classified, such as a simple spreadsheet or table. In this case, individual
              communities would be listed by name under one of the three previously identified
              categories of risk.

          •   If there are land ownerships that cross state lines (for example Indian
              Reservations or single, National Forests), it is important to coordinate the risk
              assessment process with neighboring state(s) to ensure consistency in
              classification.

          •   After completing the assessment process for a specific community, strongly
              encourage the development of a mitigation plan to reduce the identified risks to
              the community, particularly for communities in the higher risk categories.

   2. Annually, using available mitigation plans or another similar analysis process, federal
      agencies, state agencies, and tribes will each examine the lands under its own ownership
      or jurisdiction and, with the involvement of all interested parties, identify high priority
      fuels reduction and ecosystem restoration projects which have the potential to reduce the
      risk to a specific community or communities.




                                                - 40 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


   3. Prior to May 1 of each year (beginning in 2004) state, federal, local, and tribal partners
      and interested stakeholders should meet to complete a joint program of work for the
      upcoming federal fiscal year. Jointly prioritize projects within each state using the
      collaborative process defined in the national, interagency MOU “For the Development of
      a Collaborative Fuels Treatment Program”. Assign the highest priorities to projects that
      will provide the greatest benefits either on the landscape or to communities. Attempt to
      properly sequence treatments on the landscape by working first around and within
      communities, and then moving further out into the surrounding landscape.

      [Note: In some of the larger states, this process may have to be initiated at the sub-state
      level first. The resulting lists of prioritized projects would then be reviewed by a state
      level collaborative group, who would develop the final, joint program of work.]

          •   First, focus on the category/zone of highest overall risk but consider projects in all
              categories/zones. Identify a set of projects that will effectively reduce the level of
              risk to communities within the category/zone.

          •   Second, determining the community’s willingness and readiness to actively
              participate in each identified project.

          •   Third, for each potential project, determining the willingness and ability of the
              owner of the land surrounding the community to undertake, and maintain, a
              complementary project.

          •   Last, set priorities by looking for projects that best meet the three criteria above.
              In other words, assign a higher priority to those projects with the greatest potential
              to achieve a proper sequencing of treatments. Assign lower priority to projects
              where either the community or the surrounding landowner is unwilling or unable
              to actively participate. However, do not overlook opportunities around isolated,
              rural communities which may be at high risk, but not be organized well enough to
              effectively advocate on their own behalf.

          •   Note: One reason for the collaborative priority setting process is the opportunity
              to identify complementary projects on adjoining ownerships which, if


                                              - 41 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


                  implemented, would provide a greater benefit to communities than if only a single
                  project was implemented. However, nothing in this document is intended to
                  prevent non-public landowners (such as Indian tribes) from implementing any
                  project on their own lands, regardless of overall priority.

   4. Annually document accomplishments both quantitatively and qualitatively.

              •   Quantitative measures. Document accomplishments in accordance with the
                  performance measures identified under Goal 4 in the 10-Year Comprehensive
                  Strategy Implementation Plan (page 15). However, the single, most important
                  quantitative reporting element is the number of implemented projects that result in
                  a significant and measurable reduction of risk to the communities and landscapes
                  within the project area. In the longer term, it is important to document situations
                  where a wildfire burned through an implemented project area, and determine how
                  the treatment affected fire behavior.

              •   Qualitative measures. Document examples of successfully implemented projects
                  using the guidelines previously distributed by federal agencies and the NASF for
                  “success stories”. These “success stories” will then be placed on both the NASF
                  and the National Fire Plan websites as examples how we collectively are reducing
                  risks to communities.

Methodology:

Although there is no uniform, national hazard or risk assessment process, there are a number of
valid assessment processes that may work well in individual states or regions. In developing a
risk assessment process for communities, use the NWCG publication “Wildland/Urban Interface
Fire Hazard Assessment Methodology” as a reference guide.           At minimum, consider the
following factors when assessing the relative degree of exposure each community (landscape)
faces. One effective approach is to map the four factors below using adjective ratings (high,
medium, and low) and then overlay the maps to determine geographic areas of highest hazard,
highest probability of fire occurrence, highest values being protected, and lowest protection
capability.



                                                  - 42 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


       •   Fire Occurrence. Using historic fire occurrence records and other factors, assess the
           anticipated probability of a wildfire ignition in the vicinity of each community (or
           identified landscape) using an adjective rating system, such as high, medium, and
           low.

       •   Hazard. Assess the fuel conditions on the landscape and surrounding the community
           using a GIS mid-level mapping tool (if available) or other similar process. Again,
           apply an adjective rating to each specific area.

       •   Values Protected. Evaluate the human and economic values associated with the
           community or landscape, such as homes, businesses, community infrastructure (e.g.
           water systems, utilities, transportation systems, critical care facilities, schools,
           manufacturing and industrial sites, etc.) as well as high value commercial timber
           lands, municipal watersheds, and areas of high historical, cultural, and spiritual
           significance. As with the other factors, apply an appropriate adjective rating to each
           community or identified landscape.

       •   Protection Capabilities. Assess the wildland fire protection capabilities, including the
           capacity and resources to undertake fire prevention measures, of all agencies or
           organizations with jurisdiction: federal, state, tribal, and local. Again, apply an
           appropriate adjective rating. Consider using the Insurance Services Organization
           (ISO) rating for the community as an indicator.


SUMMARY:

Using the process described above, it is possible to assess the level of relative risk that
communities in the wildland urban interface face from wildland fire. This can then lead to an
efficient process for prioritizing and scheduling effective, fuel reduction projects. However,
recognizing that the condition of the vegetation (fuel) on the landscape is dynamic, and that the
resilience of communities to wildfire loss varies widely and changes over time, it is not only
important and necessary to complete community assessments, but also to periodically complete
re-assessments. The frequency of re-assessments, however, will vary considerably across the
country depending upon fuel types and climate. We must remember that it is not only important

                                                - 43 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


to lower the risk to communities, but once the risk has been reduced, to maintain those
communities at a reduced risk.

Further, it is essential that both the assessment process and the prioritization of projects be done
collaboratively, with all agencies with fire protection jurisdiction – federal, state, local, and tribal
– and interested stakeholders, taking an active role.




                                                 - 44 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



                   8.2   Appendix 2. Planning and Zoning Example




                                       - 45 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                     - 46 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                     - 47 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                     - 48 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                     - 49 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




                                     - 50 -
      Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



      8.3   Appendix 3. Fuel Treatment Recommendations in a Russian olive and Tamarisk Fuels
            Complex

                  FUEL TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations for thinning and slash treatment have been made for each fuels treatment location.
These recommendations have been made to reduce the risk of a wildfire as well as to minimize the
intensity if a wildfire does occur. Below, various articles describe how to prune trees properly while
maintaining their health and aesthetic beauty.




Thinning and Pruning Trees

Thinning and pruning trees is important for many reasons. The Big Horn County Firewise program
focuses primarily on reducing the wildfire hazards, but many other reasons exist such as: improving
tree health and vigor, improving wildlife habitat, increasing land value, and increasing livestock
forage.

Native trees and shrubs will be thinned so that there is at least one-crown’s width of space between
plants.




How to Cut Down a Tree

Cutting trees is dangerous work. You can reduce the danger greatly by following general safety
precautions.

   1. Size-up – Determine where you want the tree to fall. A leaning tree or a tree with branches
      only on one side may fall only one way. Is it safe for the tree to fall where it “wants” to go?
      Sometimes certain trees require cutting before the other ones in order to avoid getting them
      stuck or “hung-up” together.
   2. Clear-out – Clear your cutting area. Cut off limbs that are close to the ground so they won’t
      snag your clothes or hinder your cutting. Trim back any brush overhanging your work area.
   3. Three-cuts – Use a three cut method of safely cutting trees as shown below.


                                                   - 51 -
      Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum




       Cut 1: this is a flat cut (do not angle). It
       should cut at least 1/3 of the tree stump
       diameter

       Cut 2: a slanting cut that connects with cut 1.
       It should be done with a steep angle,
       approximately 60 degrees. A lesser angle will
       compress too soon and will not control the
       tree’s falling direction.
                                                                           3 Cut Method
       Cut 3: This “back cut” should be a minimum
       of two inches above the first. This is also a
       flat cut.

   4. Escape Route – Always have an escape route that you can take when the tree begins to fall. It
      should be well away from the tree’s falling direction and back to one side. Some trees have
      been known to “kick back” from the falling direction.
   5. Hang-ups – Occasionally, trees get stuck on other trees as they are falling. These “leaners”
      require SPECIAL PRECAUTION because they can fall anytime! Sometimes rolling the tree
      will prompt it to fall. A safe way to handle this situation is to winch or pull the tree with a
      chain and vehicle until it comes free and falls.
   6. Jack-straw – When trees are cut without regard to where they will fall, they often become
      tangled, making limbs and clean-up very difficult. To avoid jack-strawing, cut and fell your
      trees in the same direction. You will find it is worth the extra effort when it comes time to
      consolidate the wood products and clean up the slash.
   7. Stump Height – Generally, lower stumps are better for safe walking and eventual wood
      disintegration. Four inches or less is a reasonable goal. Occasionally you may wish to have a
      high stump for wildlife use.
How to Prune a Tree

Pruning is the practice of removing branches from the bottom of the crown of a tree. Pruning can help
prevent a ground fire from climbing into the tree canopy. Pruning cuts should be made so that only
the branch is removed and main stem is not damaged. If only the branch is cut when pruning, the
stem tissue of the tree is less likely to become decayed, and the wound will seal more effectively.




                                                     - 52 -
      Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



To find the proper place to cut a branch, look for the
branch collar that grows from the stem tissue at the
underside of the base of the branch (Fig. 1A). On the
upper surface, there is usually a branch bark ridge
that runs (more or less) parallel to the branch angle,
along the stem of the tree. A proper pruning cut does
not damage either the branch bark ridge or the branch
collar.
                                                         Figure 1A. Targeting the cut

A proper cut begins just outside the branch bark
ridge and angles down away from the stem of the
tree, avoiding injury to the branch collar (Fig. 2A).
Make the cut as close as possible to the intersection
of the stem and branch, but outside the branch bark
ridge, so that stem tissue is not injured and the
wound can seal in the shortest time possible. If the
cut is too far from the stem, leaving a branch stub,
the branch tissue usually dies and woundwood forms
from the stem tissue. Wound closure is delayed
                                                             Figure 2A.                   Figure 2B.
because the woundwood must seal over the stub that
was left.

Improper pruning cuts cause unnecessary injury and
bark ripping (Fig. 3A). Flush cuts injure stem tissues
and can result in decay (Fig. 3B). Stub cuts delay
wound closure and can provide entry to canker fungi
that kill the cambium, delaying or preventing
woundwood formation (Fig. 3C).

                                                         3A. Bark Ripping 3B. Flush Cut   3C. Stub Cut




                                                    - 53 -
        Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



When To Prune

Conifers may be pruned any time of year, but pruning during the dormant season may minimize sap
and resin flow from cut branches. Hardwood trees and shrubs should be pruned in the dormant season
to easily visualize the structure of the tree and to maximize wound closure in the growing season after
pruning. This helps reduce the chance of transmitting disease, and discourages excessive sap flow
from wounds. Recent wounds and the chemical scents they emit can actually attract insects that spread
tree disease.




Slash Disposal

During thinning operations limbs and branches will accumulate.           This debris is called slash.
Eliminating slash reduces fire hazards, improves aesthetics, helps develop grass and other vegetation,
improves access for people, livestock, and wildlife and allows sunlight to reach the forest floor which
improves regeneration.    The slash disposal method you use will depend on cost, size, amount,
location, and the final appearance desired. Four common methods of slash disposal are: chipping,
lopping and scattering, loading and hauling, & piling and burning.

o Chipping
Chipping is the most expensive method of slash disposal. A machine reduces the branches to chips of
various sizes. These chips decompose rapidly and represent a very low fire hazard. They also serve
as mulch to hold soil moisture and aid in plant development. Chips have a pleasant appearance and
allow easy movement through the slash area. Don’t allow chips to accumulate more than four inches
deep.

o Lopping and Scattering
This is the easiest and cheapest method of slash disposal. It involves cutting large branches into
smaller pieces and scattering them over an area. It is necessary to cut the pieces small enough so all
the slash is within 12 inches of the ground.




                                                    - 54 -
      Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



o Loading and Hauling
Loading and hauling is good for small amounts of slash provided that you have an adequate vehicle
and a place to dump the material. Large amounts of slash make loading and hauling an expensive
option for most landowners depending on the location of the nearest place to unload the debris.

o Piling and Burning
If no other alternative is available, piling and burning can be accomplished through careful planning
and execution. Piling and burning is a quick way to eliminate a large amount of slash at moderate
cost. If slash is piled to be burned later the following precautions are recommended: Pile at least 100
feet from live trees, wait until a good snow fall occurs in the late fall; prior to burning, ensure that the
temperatures will remain below freezing for at least 3-5 days; after piles are ignited monitor for the
next 2-3 days to ensure fire does not spread away from pile location. Re-seed burn pile location the
following spring. Areas should be re-seeded with native grasses and forbs. Re-vegetating the area will
help to ensure noxious weeds do not colonize burn area. If you choose to pile and burn, contact the
Big Horn County Fire Warden at: (307) 568-2324 for more information about techniques, rules,
regulations and legal liabilities.




Follow-up

Because natural areas are not static, continued work in the future will always be necessary to keep up
with the changes that will take place. Fuel treatments areas should be monitored annually and
maintained so that hazardous fuels do not become re-established.

Herbicide Stump Treatment (Authored by: Mandy Tu, The Nature Conservancy’s Wildland
Invasive Species Team July 2003)

Large mature stands of Russian olive (E. angustifolia) are nearly impossible to eradicate throughout
an entire watershed once they become well-established, so the early detection and rapid response to
treat newly detected populations of E. angustifolia is important. Small patches of E. angustifolia,
however, can be adequately controlled using a variety of control methods. All control techniques used



                                                      - 55 -
      Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


to manage E. angustifolia are labor-intensive and expensive, especially in the first year of large-scale
E. angustifolia removal. Mowing, cutting, burning, excavation, spraying, girdling, and bulldozing
have all been used for E. angustifolia control, and they all work to reduce aboveground biomass,
sometimes to varying degrees of success. Successful long-term control of E. angustifolia requires that
all control sites to be continually monitored and follow-up treatments vigilantly applied for several
years, since E. angustifolia frequently re-sprouts or develops root suckers from the root crown. Along
regulated-rivers, once E. angustifolia trees have been killed and/or removed, the ensuing restoration of
native trees and shrubs can be improved by simulating historic flood regimes and rates of water
drawdown at the time of cottonwood seed dispersal (Friedman 1993, in Shafroth et al. 1995). In some
situations, the planting of poles or nursery stock of native trees and shrubs can assist in the re-
establishment of native riparian communities (Shafroth et al. 1995).

Manual and Mechanical Control

E. angustifolia seedlings and sprouts can be hand-pulled or weed wrenched out when soil is moist
(Deiter 2000). Saplings with a trunk diameter less than 3.5 inches can be pulled sufficiently with a
weed wrench (Deiter 2000). Pulling or digging out larger plants is both extremely labor-intensive and
not recommended, since it can leave behind root fragments that can resprout. Seedlings can also be
continually mowed for good control, but larger plants respond to cutting or girdling by vigorously
resprouting, resulting in thicker, denser growth, unless herbicide is immediately applied to cut
surfaces after cutting.

Prescribed Burning

Small seedlings of E. angustifolia may be susceptible to fire, but burning alone does not adequately
control larger individuals of E. angustifolia, since it can vigorously re-sprout following fire (similar to
cutting or mowing). Prescribed burning, however, can be used as either a pretreatment to, or used in
combination with another control method, called integrated pest management (IPM).

Chemical Control

Seedlings, saplings, and mature E. angustifolia trees can all be effectively killed by the careful,



                                                      - 56 -
      Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


judicious, and targeted application of herbicide. Foliar and basal bark applications can be effective,
especially for young individuals or for re-sprouts, but there may be off-target effects (from overspray
or drift) if applied as a foliar spray to large stands. The most specific herbicide application technique
for large mature trees is the cut-stump application method. First cut the stem/trunk as close to the
ground as possible, then immediately (within a few minutes) brush-on or squirt herbicide onto the
cambium layer of that cut-stump. Hacking and frilling (“hack and squirt”), girdling plus herbicide, or
injection of herbicide, are also all effective at killing mature trees. Glyphosate (e.g. RoundUp®) and
triclopyr ester (e.g. Garlon 4®) have both been reported to be effective in killing mature E. angustifolia
trees (Parker & Williamson 1996). Caplan (2002) reported excellent kill rates using a 50% solution of
Garlon 4® in a cut-stump treatment (herbicide applied within 5 minutes of cutting) on trees with trunks
less than 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter in New Mexico. This may not be effective on trees with trunks
larger than 8 inches in diameter Caplan 2002). Caplan (2002) then followed-up the cutting treatments
with foliar sprays on root sprouts for the following two years (25% solution of Garlon 4®), and reports
that instead of large dense stands of E. angustifolia, he now finds on average, less than 3 sprouts per
acre. He adds that continued vigilance, monitoring, and follow-up treatments are necessary for long-
term success.

Edelen and Crowder (1997) eliminated E angustifolia trees in Washington State by cutting them in
mid-summer, and then mowing the re-sprouts once in late summer the following year. While effective,
this non-herbicidal method was labor intensive and costly. They decided that their next efforts would
include using herbicide to first kill the trees before removal. They used imazapyr e.g. Contain® or
Arsenal®) at different concentrations, and found that Contain® (used in a 4% solution; 14% active
ingredient) damaged about 75% of the trees. Large trees showed damage in he upper half of canopy,
while younger trees and sprouts were strongly affected throughout their entire canopy. When Garlon
4® (triclopyr) was applied as an aerial spray (no concentrations given), they reported a 90% kill rate
(W. Crowder, pers. comm.).

Parker and Williamson (1996) report that basal bark applications (spraying herbicide directly onto the
bottom 60 cm [2 feet] of each stem) with triclopyr (e.g. Garlon 4® or Remedy®) appeared to give
effective control. They added that with these basal applications, top-kill is excellent, and this method
minimizes soil disturbance and maintains other desirable vegetation. Parker and Williamson (1995)


                                                      - 57 -
      Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


also stressed that it is important that applications completely wet the entire circumference of all stems
or clumps of stems, but not to the point of run-off. The basal bark method is effective with small trees
with smooth bark. For larger trees, the sprayed area must extend upward to include some smooth bark.
Treatment of larger trees with thick, rough bark using his method may provide only about 50%
control. The best time to apply herbicide is when the plants are actively growing from May through
September. Parker and Williamson (1996) recommend that burning is effective in large stands for first
reducing biomass, and then basal applications should be used on re-sprouts.

Biological Control

There are no reported bio-control agents for the control of E. angustifolia.




                                                     - 58 -
 Appendix 4. Fuels treatments in Big Horn County 2005 through June 2009
                                               Carbon County                                                                                                                                                                                                        Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                Montana

       HWY 310
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big Horn County
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Disclaimer: NRCS spatial data was not available when this map was prepared.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Source: Big Horn County Planning Office Basin, Wyoming; July 2009.




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     BHC Weed and Pest                    150.7
Park County                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Other                                490.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     HWY 16/20




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           6
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Washakie County


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -59-
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum



8.5   Appendix 5. Wyoming DOT Rules for Fireguards on Railroad Property


                     Chapter 3 (edited to only include Fireguard language)




Section 1            Purpose                                                        3-1

Section 2            Definitions                                                    3-1

Section 3            Application of Rules                                           3-2

Section 4            Fireguards                                                     3-2

Section 5            Railroad Property Fencing (omitted)                            3-5

Section 6            Claims for Injury to Livestock (omitted)                       3-7

Section 7            Example of Fireguard Inspection Report Form                    3-8




                               Fireguards on Railroad Property




Section 1.    Purpose.

       As required by W.S. 37-9-310, these rules are promulgated to ensure compliance with
W.S. 37-9-301, et seq., by railroad companies responsible for maintaining railroad property and
rights-of-way within Wyoming.

Section 2.    Definitions.



                                            - 60 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:

       (a)     AArea@ means the rights-of-way located between 2 stated railroad mileposts lying
to the right or left side, or both sides, of the main track(s). Locations requiring fireguard
treatment shall be designated by railroad mileposts.

       (c)     ACommission@ means the Transportation Commission of Wyoming.

       (d)      ACommission agent@ means the Wyoming State Forestry Division (WSFD) acting
for and on behalf of the Commission.

       (e)     ADepartment@ means the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT),
Utilities and Railroads Section, 5300 Bishop Boulevard, Cheyenne, WY 82009-3340 (telephone
307-777-4859).

       (h)     AField inspection@ means an inspection of any railroad right-of-way within
Wyoming, except any railroad right-of-way within any town or city limit.

       (i)     AFireguard@ means a man-made or natural obstruction to prevent fire from
spreading to lateral areas along railroad rights-of-way or the obstruction created by plowing,
sterilizing, burning, or spraying.

        (k)    AMilepost@ means a physical marker installed by the railroad companies along
their rights-of-way used for identifying distances measured in miles.

       (l)     APerson@ means individuals, associations of individuals, firms, partnerships,
companies, corporations, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever
in the singular number as well as the plural.

       (m)     AProperty or rights-of-way@ means all property acquired by the railroad company
for the construction, operation, and maintenance of railroads and related facilities, whether or not
a railroad has been constructed on it.




                                                - 61 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


       (n)     ASpecifications@ means the treatment procedures, as determined by the
Commission in consultation with the railroad, outlining the methods the railroad company shall
use to establish a proper fireguard.

       o)      ASuppression costs@ means the costs (expressed in dollar and cents) established by
the Wyoming Fire Mobilization Guide and interagency cooperative agreements for expenses
incurred extinguishing fires in areas adjacent to railroad company rights-of-way,

caused by or resulting from railroad company operations, except those rights-of-way lying within
town or city limits.

       (p)     AState Forestry Division@ means the State Forestry Division under the jurisdiction
of the Office of State Lands and Investments.

       (q)     ATreatment@ means the physical act of plowing, sterilizing, burning, or spraying.



Section 3.     Application of Rules.

        These rules shall apply to every company, corporation, business, or railroad company
operating a line of track upon a right-of-way or any part thereof within Wyoming.

Section 4.     Fireguards. (See W.S. 37-9-301 through W.S. 37-9-303.)

       (a)     The Commission shall designate the Wyoming State Forestry Division as the
agent to act on the Commission=s behalf concerning railroad fireguard inspections.

       (b)     The Commission agent shall be responsible for the following within Section 4,
Fireguards, of this rule and regulation:

               (i)     Arranging for field inspections of railroad rights-of-way,

               (ii)    Determining specific areas to be treated and establishing the season of the
year for the treatment during the following year, and


                                                - 62 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


                  (iii)   Determining the type of treatment required.

        (c)       The Commission, or its agent, shall issue additional periodic orders or directives
to the railroad company(s) as circumstances require. These additional orders or directives may
be for additional inspections or treatment(s). A report shall be submitted to the Commission on
all findings.

        (d)       The Commission agent shall receive all inspection team reports and
recommendations. The agent shall then recommend to the Commission areas needing fireguard
improvement and identify the prescribed treatment methods. The agent shall also report to the
Commission any violation of its directives.

        (e)       The inspection team may consist of at least 3 persons with the following
representation:

                  (i)     One representative appointed by the Wyoming State Forestry Division.

                  (ii)    One representative appointed by the railroad company operating in the
county to be inspected.

                  (iii)   One representative appointed by the county, preferably the county fire
warden or fire chief.

        (f)       When deemed practical and necessary, the inspection team shall be responsible
for the following:

                  (i)     Conducting annual inspections of railroad rights-of-way for fireguard
inspection and evaluation;

                  (ii)    Conducting additional periodic inspections as required or as deemed
necessary by the Commission agent or as requested; and

                  (iii)   Preparing and distributing inspection findings as described in Section 4(j)
of these rules.


                                                 - 63 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


       (g)     The inspection team shall carry out its responsibilities under and by the direction
of the Commission, the Commission agent, or the Commission=s designee.

       (h)     The following are Commission-approved treatment methods:

               (i)      Method 1BPlowing or sterilizing a fireguard (14 to 16 feet or wider) on
one side within the right-of-way, 50 feet from the center line of the main track (or the outer-most
track for multiple tracks) where practical and necessary.

               (ii)     Method 2BPlowing or sterilizing a fireguard (14 to 16 feet or wider) on
both sides within the right-of-way, 50 feet from the center line of the main track (or the outer-
most track for multiple tracks) where practical and necessary.

               (iii)    Method 3BBurning within the right-of-way on one side, 50 feet from the
center line of the main track (or the outer-most track for multiple tracks) where practical and
necessary. All prescription burning shall comply with district, county, and state regulations.

               (iv)     Method 4BBurning within the right-of-way on both sides, 50 feet from the
center line of the main track (or the outer-most track for multiple tracks) where practical and
necessary. All prescription burning shall comply with district, county, and state regulations.

               (v)      Method 5BSterilizing within the right-of-way on one side of the outer-most
tracks where practical and necessary.

               (vi)     Method 6BSterilizing within the right-of-way on both sides of the outer-
most tracks where practical and necessary.

               (vii)    Method 7BTreating the right-of-way with herbicide (solely for fire
prevention purposes) on one side, 50 feet from the center line of the main track (or the outer-
most track for multiple tracks) where practical and necessary and then discing a fireguard 10 feet
or wider on one side of the tracks within the right-of-way where practical and necessary.

               (viii)   Method 8BTreating the right-of-way with herbicide (solely for fire
prevention purposes) on both sides, 50 feet from the center line of the main track (or the outer-

                                               - 64 -
Big Horn County CWPP 2010 Addendum


most track for multiple tracks) where practical and necessary and then discing a fireguard 10 feet
or wider on both sides of the tracks within the right-of-way where practical and necessary.

               (ix)    Method 9BUsing other types of treatment as agreed upon by all the
inspection team members.

               (x)     Method 10BDirecting noxious weed problems to the Wyoming Department
of Agriculture, 2219 Carey Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82002-0100 (telephone 307-777-7321) or
the local county weed and pest control district.

       (i)      When deemed practical and necessary, one of the preceding treatment methods
shall be selected after considering fire occurrence maps, accessability, land values, fuel types on
the land, and other local factors influencing the likelihood of fires.

       (j)     The inspection teams shall use WYDOT Form 10B or another Department form
designated as appropriate for inspection reports. The team shall prepare a minimum 4 copies of
the form for each inspection. Each inspection team member shall retain a copy, and the team
shall forward one copy to the CommissionBby November 1 each year for annual inspections or
upon completion of periodic inspections.

       (k)     State Forestry Division Form WSFD-2 shall be used for submitting damage or
suppression costs to the railroad company.




                                                - 65 -
                                                                                                                     Appendix 6. Recommended 50 foot railroad buffer through at-risk communities
                                             Carbon County                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Montana
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  Big Horn County                                                                                                                                                                                        37
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        CWPP                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         H WY 16
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Railroad 50 foot Buffer
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          Legend
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                              rails                           RR50ftBUFFER                           2005 CWPP BNDY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             34




          Roads                                               MT. WY Border                          CWPP COMMUNITY

                              County                          Incorporated Towns                     Bighorn NF Boundary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    12
                              State                           Sheet Index                            Areas Critical Concern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      HWY 433




                              Major Streams                   County                                 Wilderness Study
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   RD 34




                              Lakes




       Ü
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LN 57
                                         0             1.25          2.5                               5
                                                                                                        Miles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Washakie County




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -66-
                      Horn County Wildfire Occurrence - 2005 through 2009
   Appendix 7. BigCounty
               Carbon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Montana
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Big Horn County




                                                                                                                   W Y 37
Frannie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Wyoming
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Community Wildfire Protection Plan




                                                                                                                  H
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BHC Wildfire Occurrences
                     Deaver                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Legend
                                   H W Y 3 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   MT. WY Border                County


                                        Cowley                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roads
                                                         HW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Major Streams



                                                              Y 31
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Type of Road
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wild Fires
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Sheridan County
                                                                  0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             County
                                                                             er
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2005

                                                                          iv
                                                             4A       R                                                                                                                                                                                      Bear Creek Fire                                                                                    State                        2006
                                                         1        e                    Lovell                                                                    HW
                                                  Y
                                                   on



                                                HW                                                                                                                 Y                                                                                                                                                                                            Incorporated Towns           2007
                                                 sh




                                                                                                                                                                       14
                                                     o                                                                                                                      A
                                                Sh
                                                                          HWY 33




                              1   4A                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bighorn NF Boundary          2008
                          Y                 Byron
                     W




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ü
                      H                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2009


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            0            2.5             5                    10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Miles




                                                                                                                                         Bi g H
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        March 2010
            HWY 32




                                                                                                                                            or
                                                                                                                                                  R                                                                                                                                              Bone Creek Fire




                                                                                                                                                  n
                                                                                                                                                      iv e
                                                                                                                                                             r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       NOTE: This map is displayed at a scale that does not allow clear viewing of all the fires
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       recorded in the database. Big Horn County Firewise, in cooperation with the Big Horn County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Planning office, maintains and periodically updates a fire occurrence database using spatial
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Big                                            data supplied by BLM, USFS, State and County cooperators.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ho
                                                                                                                            W                                                                                                                                                  rn                                      It is also important to note fire reporting in Big Horn County and throughout most of the State
                                                                                                                            H




                                                                                                                                Y
                                                                                                                                    31                                                                                                                                                  Na                             of Wyoming is not always accurate or complete. This map is for display purposes only.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 tio
                                                                                                                                     0




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Contact the Big Horn County Firewise Coordinator at (307) 333-1098 or visit the website at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    n   al             www.wytfs.com for more information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Fo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      14                                                        re
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Y                                                               st
   Park County                                                                     HWY 14/16/20
                                                                                                                                                                        Greybull




                                                                          Burlington

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Johnson County



                                                                                   HWY 30
                                                                                                                                                                                        HWY 36




                                                                                                G re ybull R
                                                                                                               iv e r

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                                                                                                                                                                                                     Manderson                 H WY
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Washakie County



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -67-

				
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