|1/17/2013||Federal agencies announce plans to ignite slash piles|
Fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office and the San Carlos Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Pike and San Isabel National Forests will join forces as they carry out a prescribed burning program of slash piles this winter in southern Colorado.
Planned ignitions will begin in Custer County when weather and fuel conditions become optimal for achieving management objectives while keeping smoke impacts to a minimum to surrounding communities. Weather and fuel conditions will be closely monitored and the prescribed burning program will continue through the winter season as long as conditions allow.
Prescribed fire combined with mechanical and/or hand thinning treatments are effective land management tools used to reduce the accumulation of hazardous fuels and old and dense vegetation. Minimizing hazardous fuels reduces fire intensity and the risk of catastrophic wildland fires, which in turn minimizes the risk to firefighter and public safety. It also improves wildlife habitat and promotes and maintains healthier ecosystems.
Each prescribed burn has a detailed prescribed fire plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from state agencies.
USFS areas slated for treatment:
Deer Peak Piles: Burn piles containing debris from thinning operations to reduce hazardous fuels will be burned. The burn piles are located eight miles northwest of San Isabel in Custer County.
Gibson Trailhead Piles: Piles contain debris from roadside thinning. The burn piles are located seven miles west-northwest of Westcliffe.
Alvarado Piles: Burn piles containing slash material created from cleanup of the 2011 blowdown will be burned. The burn piles are located eight miles southwest of Westcliffe.
For more information contact Dennis Page, U.S. Forest Service, San Carlos Ranger District Fire Management Specialist, 269-8584.
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