New guide shows Wyoming wildfire patterns, includes safety for prescribed burns

New guide examines ... Wildfire in WyomingUniversity of Wyoming Extension rangeland specialist Derek Scasta offers new insights for landowners, livestock producers, and others interested in wildland fire in Wyoming and those planning prescribed fires.

“Wildland Fire in Wyoming: Patterns, Influences, and Effects” presents a view of wildfire in the state, including prescribed fires to achieve land management objectives.

The 24-page publication, available as a free download from University of Wyoming Extension publications site and from, includes original research and findings from more than 50 historical, ecological, and firefighting reports and studies.

Scasta examines the influence of drought, weather, season, fuel characteristics, and topography on fire behavior and patterns and fire’s effects on soils, plant communities, livestock, wildlife, and bark beetle outbreaks.

“Wildland Fire in Wyoming” covers how to calculate and measure fire intensity and severity and offers guidelines and considerations for prescribed burns that might be applied to improve livestock forage, optimize wildlife habitat, mitigate wildfire risk, and protect fire-sensitive plant species.

Observations are drawn from major fires in Yellowstone in 1988 and Bridger-Teton National Forest in 2012, as well as others in Teton, Park, Fremont, Sublette, Albany, Platte, and Carbon counties up to 2015.

Maps, photographs, tables, and modeling results are included, and a Resources section directs readers to free fire modeling software, databases, wildfire maps and planning tools.

“Wildland Fire in Wyoming” is one of more than 500 how-to guides and videos available from University of Wyoming Extension (see For more on fire, see “Living with Wildfire in Wyoming” and “Residential Development Effects of Firefighting Costs in the Wildland-Urban Interface.”