Chimney Rock prescribed burn planned for today and tomorrow


    The Pagosa Ranger District plans to conduct a second round of prescribed burning on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 18 and 19, on two units within the Chimney Rock National Monument. The units will be smaller than those burned in late January, approximately 41 and 18 acres in size, versus 30 and 100 acres in size.

    Prescribed burning completed in late January was successful in meeting project objectives. Burning at this time of year reduces the risk of unexpected fire effects and utilizes pockets of snow to provide a more mosaic patchy burn that mimics natural fire disturbance.

    About one dozen firefighters will ignite by hand needle litter and debris left over from a 2009 mechanical fuels-reduction project to further reduce flammable fuels on the ground. Burning operations are expected to take place from about noon until mid-afternoon for optimum smoke dispersal. Smoke is expected to be minimal, but may settle down drainage overnight. Signs will be posted on highways to alert travelers, but no visibility concerns are expected.

    For more information, contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.