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Slash Pile Burning 2021

Unit Information

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland
U.S. Forest Service
2150 Centre Avenue Building E
Fort Collins, CO 80526

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This incident is no longer being updated.

Snowy forest with smoke coming up from a pile of slash surrounded by snow.Image options: [ Full Size ]

As winter conditions settle in across Colorado's northern Front Range, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests will work to burn slash piles resulting from fuels reduction and hazardous tree removal projects across the area. This season’s pile burning could begin as soon as Jan. 5, 2021, and will continue through the spring, depending on weather and fuels conditions. 

Fuels reduction programs involve mechanical or hand thinning projects, removing trees to reduce forest density and improve forest health. While larger logs are removed for use, unmarketable limbs, saplings, and brush are piled up for burning. Hand piles result from crews using chainsaws to thin the forest and then piling the sawn material; machine piles result from using logging equipment and primarily consist of tree limbs left behind after marketable material is removed. 

Piles are only ignited when fuels managers are confident that the project can be undertaken safely and successfully. Snow cover, fuel moisture, precipitation, wind, temperature, and available firefighter staffing are all considered before beginning a pile burn. Piles which are ready for burning are prioritized based on elevation, aspect, access, and proximity to homes. Smoke, flames, and glowing embers are often visible, and are a normal part of pile burning operations. Snow helps contain the piles and firefighters monitor the area during and after the burn. Public and firefighter safety is always the number-one priority in burning operations. 

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health; for more information see 

To get the latest updates on when and where burning will occur, follow us on Twitter and Facebook @usfsarp. To receive our updates, send an e-mail to and provide the general area you are interested in (i.e. Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Grand, Larimer).  
Areas on the Sulphur Ranger District (Grand County) with hand and machine piles ready for burning: 

Winter Park Fuels/Upper Fraser: 2,500 hand piles General Location: Southwest of Fraser and Winter Park. 
Keyser Creek Fuels: 100 machine piles General Location: north and south of Keyser Creek 
Shadow Mtn Fuels: 30 hand piles General Location: County Rd 66 and Hwy 34 
Blue Ridge: 10,000 hand piles General Location: South of County Road 55 along Blue Ridge 
St Louis Creek: 20 machine piles General Location: Fraser experimental Forest Rd 160 and 164 
High Lonesome: 75 hand piles General Location: FSR 129, W of Meadow Creek Reservoir
Waterboard Road: 52 hand piles General Location FSR 128, E of Tabernash  

Areas on the Clear Creek Ranger District (Clear Creek County) with hand piles ready for burning: 

Pisgah/Fall River: 50 hand piles General Location: 2.5mi North of Dumont on Fall River Rd., near St Mary’s and Alice. 

Areas on the Boulder Ranger District (Gilpin and Boulder Counties) with hand and machine piles ready for burning: 

Lump Gulch 18: 2,000 piles General Location: Gilpin County a half-mile north of Rollinsville on Westside of Hwy 119 Peak to Peak.

Lump Gulch 35: 500 piles General Location: Gilpin County South Side of Gilpin Rd, 3 miles South of Rollinsville on Westside of Hwy 119 Peak to Peak 

Lump Gulch 38: 2,000 piles General Location: Gilpin County off South Beaver Rd (South Side) mile East of Hwy 119 

James Creek RFB Unit 1: 800 piles General Location: 1.5 Northwest of Jamestown, west of County Road 87 

James Creek RFB Units 6, 8: 5,000 piles remaining General location: Half mile south of Jamestown or quarter mile East of Bar K Ranch 

James Creek Unit RFB Unit 10: 1,500 piles remaining General location: 2 miles east of Peak to Peak Highway on Highway 52

James Creek RFB 17: 1,425 piles General Location: Half-mile north Cal-Wood Ranch

James Creek Unit M1701: 8,000 piles General Location: East of Hwy 72 near Peaceful Valley

St Vrain Unit 11B: 1,500 piles General Location: 1 mile northeast of Allenspark, east of Hwy 7
St Vrain 12A 12B 12d: 6,000 piles General Location: In the town of Meeker Park 

St Vrain Units 15a, 15b: 6,000 piles General Location: 5 miles west of Lyons, North side of Ralph Price Reservoir (Button Rock) 

Forsythe II Units 5,7,8: 1,500 piles General Location: 2 miles east of Nederland, north of Magnolia Road and adjacent to FS Trail 606 

Forsythe II Unit 26: 500 hand piles General Location: 2 miles southo f Nederland, east of Kelly Dahl Campground
Forsythe II Units 39, 40, 42, 45, 75, 76: 1,750 piles General Location: 1.5 mile northwest of Wondervu, west side of Gross Reservoir 

Forsythe II Units 50, 51: 2,500 hand piles General Location: 1.5 mile northeast of Wondervu, south side of Gross Reservoir 

Forsythe II Units 82 – 100: 500 hand piles General Location: 1 mile southeast of Nederland, south side of Big Springs Subdivision 

Areas on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District (Larimer County) with hand and machine piles ready for burning:  

Stub Creek: 7 hand piles General Location: At the U.S. Forest Service Stub Creek Work Center and south of Glendevy   

Thompson River 4: 10,500 hand piles General Location: 6 miles east of Estes Park  

Thompson River 3: 4,200 hand piles General Location: Hwy-36 and Lions Gulch Trailhead, near Estes Park, CO 

Cedar Park 1: 10,000 hand piles General Location: Hwy-34 and FSR-128 Storm Mountain Road, near Drake, CO 

Magic Sky 4: 7,000 hand piles General Location: CR-74E and Red Feather Highlands subdivision, east of Red Feather Lakes, CO 

Magic Sky 4 “Elk Units”: 500 hand piles (completed) General Location: CR-86 and FSR-501, near Red Feather Lakes, CO 

FSR200 “Roadside”: 18 machine piles General Location: FSR-200 and “Old Roach Area”, south of Wycolo, WY 

Swampou: 7 machine piles (completed) General Location: CR-69 and FSR-171, south of Red Feather Lakes, CO 

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
Incident CommanderArapaho and Roosevelt National Forests
Coordinates40.559 latitude, -105.086 longitude

Current Situation

Fuels Involved

Piled Fuels


Projected Incident Activity

Pile burning ongoing as conditions allow