By Lindsay J. Box
Southern Ute Agency Fire Management plans to begin prescribed burn operations this weekend in the Sandoval Canyon area and/or Cabezon Canyon area west of Archuleta County Road 700 (Cat Creek) and 20 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs. The project is weather dependent yet expected to start Sunday, Aug. 18, and run through Thursday, Aug. 22.
The W Sandoval burn is located on Southern Ute Indian Reservation and covers 1,066 acres. The approximate center of the burn is located at a latitude and longitude of: 37º 05.62’ x 107º 20.51’ and covers, all or portions, of Sections 18 & 19 in T-33N, R-4W and Sections 23, 24, 25 & 26 in T-33N, R-5W. The E Cabezon burn is located three miles northeast of the W Sandoval burn unit and is comprised of 340 acres. The approximate center of the burn is 37 6.56 x -107 16.39 and covers, all of portions of Sections 10 & 15, T-33N, R-4W.
The purpose of the burns is to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations and to improve wildlife habitat. Smoke may be visible from Pagosa Springs, Arboles, the U.S. 160 corridor and surrounding areas.
The operation will include 50 firefighters from several tribes and agencies including Southern Ute, Mescalero, and Crow, Los Pinos Fire Department and the SW Regional BIA.
Southern Ute Agency Fire Management has an active and ongoing fire program and has treated several thousand acres in the project area. For more information regarding the project, please contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fire Management Office and (970) 563-4571.