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Loading Pen

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San Juan National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
15 Burnett Court
Durango, CO 81301

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Strategic “Burnouts” Used on Loading Pen Fire

Loading Pen Wildfire
News – 6/17/2020

Dolores, Colo., June 17, 2020 - To better secure existing control lines, firefighters were carefully applying fire along those lines today on the Loading Pen Fire. “Burnouts” strengthen the lines by eliminating the fuel between the line and the naturally advancing wildfire.  The burnouts are small in size, less than five acres, but have a big impact on firefighters’ ability to contain the fire. The fire is located about 17 miles northeast of Dolores, CO. It is now 5% contained and its size is estimated at 38 acres. “The firefighters have just done a tremendous job cutting and digging line up a very steep slope,” says Incident Commander Tracy Milakovic, “and all that hard work has been paying off.” A twin-rotor Chinook helicopter assisted the firefighters on the ground today by dropping water on the “green” side of the fire lines. This action helps prevent any embers that may float over the line from getting established in new fuel.

Firefighters may be working late tonight to carefully bring the fire down to the floor of the Dolores River Valley. It is bounded there by a green meadow. If the burnout operation is successful, firefighters will continue to strengthen the fire lines and monitor the perimeter to ensure any remaining fire stays within the lines. Contingency plans have also been drawn up should the fire escape the existing containment lines. 109 personnel are now working on the Loading Pen Fire. Wildfire smoke may affect your health. For more information, please go to: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health   Additional incident information on the Loading Pen Fire can also be found at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6775. All offices on the San Juan National Forest are currently conducting business and providing services virtually. For information on the San Juan National Forest, call (970 ) 247-4874, visit the forest website , or follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook).

-USDA-

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