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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Pagosa Ranger District plans to burn slash piles this fall and winter

By Scott Owen | Forest Service

The San Juan National Forest’s Pagosa Ranger District plans to burn slash piles generated from forest thinning and timber sales in Echo Canyon along Forest Roads (FSR) 029 and 029.M; the lower Turkey Springs/Brockover Mesa area, adjacent to Forest Road (FSR) 629; Pagosa Creek area, adjacent to FSRs 634 and 661; and the Poison Park area near FSR 987. 

Forest-thinning projects improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and reduce the risk of wildfire near private residences and other infrastructure. Thinning slash is piled and burned to remove the debris that would fuel wildfire.

Pile burning will begin as early as Nov. 21, when there is sufficient snow or rain present to prevent fire spread, and will continue as long as conditions allow. The pile burning may continue through April 2023, if favorable conditions exist. Firefighters will ignite and monitor pile burning activities while heat is present. These activities should not affect public access or use of the forest.

Burning will only occur when all conditions of the state-issued smoke permit are met. Learn how smoke from wildfires, prescribed burns and pile burns may affect your health by visiting the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

The USDA Forest Service has recently completed a 90-day nationwide operational pause and program review of protocols, decision support tools and practices related to the implementation of prescribed fire. This pause has allowed time to identify and immediately implement program improvements to ensure firefighters have the resources, tools and support needed to safely carry out this important work. The lessons learned, driven by the best available science, will be implemented before the Forest Service resumes its prescribed fire program.

For more information on this project, contact the Pagosa Ranger District at (970) 264-2268.

For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874, visit the forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan/ or follow the forest on on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SanJuanNF.

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