Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland
U.S. Forest Service
2150 Centre Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80526
NEDERLAND, Colo. (Jan. 11, 2017) – Pile burning activities around the Boulder Ranger District have gotten off to a great start this season thanks to plentiful snowfall. To date, firefighters have burned nearly 2,200 small slash piles and more than 85 large (machine built) slash piles.
Pile burning in the Ridge Road unit that was part of the Sugarloaf Fuels Reduction Project is now complete. There are still about 22 large piles to burn in another one of our Sugarloaf Project units near Ridge Road and Alpine Drive. More snow is needed there before we can burn those.
Work on the Lump Gulch project near Bobcat Trail is also now complete (originally contained more than 60 large machine piles). Over the past few days crews have been working to burn large machine piles in the Kelly Dahl Campground area and so far have burned about 65 large piles there. Approximately 20 large piles remain to burn in Kelly Dahl, but crews plan to wait for more snow prior to returning to that area.
Smoke dispersal has been great thanks to the wind and the deep snow helps keep the piles contained. Seeing flames and smoke, even after dark, is part of normal operations. This is one way that we can help reduce fuels on the landscape under the safest conditions.
Based on current conditions, firefighters plan to burn some remaining piles near Taylor Mountain tomorrow. Over the coming week, pile burning will continue at Kelly Dahl, and crews are expected to move to the James Creek project near Jamestown and Gold Hill.
Conditions are evaluated each day to determine if ignition will take place. Ignitions are generally expected to begin after 10 a.m. and will cease several hours before sunset. Smoke and flames will be visible and are part of normal operations. Precipitation, wind, temperature, fuel moisture and staffing all play a part in when and whether ignition occurs. Firefighters monitor the area after burning is complete. Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations.
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Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
A complete list of areas where pile burning could occur on the Boulder Ranger District this season is located at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4648/.