In the fall of 2003, the Rocky Mountain Ranger District of the Lewis and Clark National Forest initiated a multi-year, large-scale prescribed burn in the Scapegoat Wilderness. The objectives of this burn were to make the non-wilderness side of the wilderness boundary more defensible from wildfire and to establish conditions that will allow fire to play a more natural role within the wilderness in the future. Using this prescribed burn as a case study, qualitative research was conducted in 2005 to understand the local ranger district’s public outreach efforts and its subsequent influence on public attitudes towards the burn. A series of in-depth interviews with agency personnel involved in the burn, and representatives from local communities who were aware of and/or participated in public outreach efforts for the burn, were the primary sources of data for this research. A framework of mindfulness processes exhibited by high reliability organizations was used in analysis for identification and understanding of organizational characteristics that contribute to success in engaging the public in Forest Service efforts to treat hazardous fuels and manage risk from wildfire. As a case study, the methods and results provide a means of comparison to additional cases on other management units.