LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Bureau of Land Management will use helicopters in an operation to round up more than 400 wild horses in Lincoln County beginning on Dec. 6.

A plan to take 414 horses from the range about 20 miles southwest of Caliente “is needed due to a lack of forage and water and declining health of the wild horses associated with significant wildfires and herd overpopulation,” according to a BLM news release.

The operation in and around the Meadow Valley Mountains and Delamar Mountains is expected to last approximately 16 days.

BLM officials cited a range fire that burned nearly 60,000 acres in July, and other fires that scorched more than 25,000 acres. The combined acreage is more than 30 percent of the habitat.

The horses will be transported to the Bruneau Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals, in Bruneau, Idaho, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program, according to the BLM. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit

The BLM welcomes observers, but warns against activities that “jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or disrupt gather operations.”

The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. Once gather operations have begun, those wanting to view gather operations must call the gather hotline nightly at (775) 861-6700 to receive specific instructions on each days’ meeting location and time.