Summer, when temperatures soar and the desert landscape has dried to a crisp, the burros abound, seeking refuge on the garrison, the oasis of the National Training Center. These furry, wild, and seemingly shy animals arouse in us a sense of wonder and curiosity, but they pose a real safety concern, for us as well as them. The desert of Fort Irwin is home to approximately a thousand heads of hungry and thirsty burros who cannot resist the relative safety and comfort afforded by the garrison’s green grass and shade, as their natural desert resources diminish in the searing heat.
In past years, Fort Irwin has worked with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to round up a portion of these animals about every two years. However, there are not enough homes in which to place animals removed from the wild range, so the BLM is not presently supporting removal services. Therefore, along with the increasing burro population, our level of awareness and caution must increase as well.
If you see burros on the cantonment area that may be potentially hazardous, call (760) 380-4444. If no one answers, a recorded message with tell you who to contact to provide your information.