Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now

New Guide Shows Wyoming Wildfire Patterns, Includes Safety for Prescribed Burns

March 31, 2016

University 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 UW Extension at, 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” explains how to calculate and measure fire intensity and severity, and offers guidelines and considerations for prescribed burns that could 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, and 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 UW Extension. For more on fire, see “Living with Wildfire in Wyoming” and “Residential Development Effects of Firefighting Costs in the Wildland-Urban Interface.”

scorched tree trunks with cattle around them

Lodgepole pine stand in a public grazing allotment three years after the 2012 Fontenelle wildfire near Big Piney. (Derek Scasta Photo)

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137


Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929


Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon