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Prescribed Fire Pile Burning 2015/2016

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Incident Overview

smoke and piles burning in snow

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Fire managers are planning to take advantage of changing weather conditions to burn slash piles created by multiple fuels reduction and hazardous tree removal projects. Firefighters will spend the fall, winter and spring burning piles in a number of locations across the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests.

Even when larger material can be removed during fuels treatment, limbs and smaller diameter material is often left behind, either because it is unusable or too costly to remove. The U.S. Forest Service burns piles of woody debris (slash) in an effort of reducing hazardous fuels. These piles are made from the slash left after mechanical thinning or cutting of trees in the forest has happened. Slash piles can range in size from 6'x6'x6' for piles stacked by hand to a minimum of 12'x12'x12' and often larger for piles created by machines.

These piles are only ignited under certain conditions, including weather, fuel moisture, smoke dispersal and staffing. The areas are monitored after burning is completed. When and where burning occurs depends on the conditions listed above. Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations.

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see

Learn more about pile burning on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests website.

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Planned Pile Burning on National Forest System lands by County

Additional prescribed burn projects will be added to this list as information becomes available. Fire managers will be burning in several locations across the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests.

Grand County (near Grand Lake, Granby, Tabernash, Fraser and Winter Park)

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Boulder, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties (near Boulder, Rollinsville, Nederland, Ward, Jamestown, Empire, Central City, Black Hawk)

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  • Forsythe Project surrounding Gross Reservoir and along Magnolia Road, including areas near Lakeshore and Wondervu subdivisions;
  • Sugarloaf Project near the communities of Sunset, Silver Springs and Swiss Peaks Subdivision;
  • Saint Vrain Project near the communities of Allen’s Park, Big Elk Meadows, and in the vicinity of Button Rock Reservoir;
  • Winniger Project 4 miles east of the community of Nederland;
  • Lump Gulch Projects south of Nederland; and,
  • James Creek Project near the communities of Jamestown, Gold Hill, Ward and Bar K subdivision and Gold Lake Ranch; and,
  • Yankee Hill Project near Central City and Black Hawk. (COMPLETE)

Larimer County (near Red Feather Lakes and the Poudre Canyon)
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  • Long Draw is located approximately 53 miles up the Poudre Canyon northwest of Fort Collins. Crews have completed all machine piles this winter and will burn hand piles.
  • Bellaire Campground located near Manhattan Road. Crews have burned some of the machine and hand piles.
  • Magic Sky is located south of Red Feather Lakes and Elkhorn Creek area. Crews will burn machine piles.
  • High Park Fire Log Decks located near the Monument Gulch Road area. Crews have burned 37 machine piles.
  • Creedmore Lakes is located in the Creedmore Lakes Road corridor. Crews have burned all the machine piles this winter.
  • Tom Bennett Campground is located near the Pingree Park Road area. Crews completed burning hand piles.
  • Panhandle is located near Sand Creek Road area (Forest Service Road 226). Crews completed burning machine piles.
  • Green Ridge is located near Deadman Road (Forest Service Road 219) area. Crews completed burning machine piles.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire

Unit Information

USFS Shield
Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests / Pawnee National Grassland
U.S. Forest Service
2150 Centre Avenue, Bldg E
Fort Collins, CO 80526

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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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