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Pagosa Springs
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Prescribed burning planned for Pagosa Ranger District

The San Juan National Forest’s Pagosa Ranger District is planning to conduct several prescribed burns starting in September. Burning operations may take place over multiple days when weather and fuel conditions are favorable for meeting objectives described in the prescribed fire plan. Burning operations will utilize both hand and aerial ignitions and will be conducted by Forest Service personnel and cooperating agencies.

Project areas identified for burn implementation are:

• Mill Creek: 500 acres, 6 miles east of Pagosa Springs, along NFSR 665

• Echo Canyon: 550 acres, 6 miles east/southeast of Pagosa Springs, along NFSR 029

• Brockover Mesa: 650 acres, 8 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, along NFSR 928

These prescribed fires are targeted toward areas that consist predominately of ponderosa pine and Gambel oak with small components of mixed conifer and shrubland included in the planned units. Prescribed fire is one of the key tools used for management of ponderosa pine ecosystems with the primary goal of reducing fuels that would otherwise increase susceptibility to more intense and severe wildfires. In addition, prescribed fire promotes growth of grasses and forbs, providing forage for many wildlife species.

Fire personnel continue to manage the Bear Creek and Quartz Ridge fires, burning in remote areas of the district with heavy standing dead and downed fuel components. Current fire behavior on both fires is minimal, but potential for increased fire behavior and growth remains if warm, dry and windy conditions persist for extended periods. Fire managers are evaluating trends in the weather and fuel conditions continually and will utilize that information for planned actions on the fire or for implementing prescribed burns. With the monsoonal precipitation that was received over the past two weeks, fuel conditions are currently favorable for considering prescribed fire opportunities.

For more information on the fires, visit:

Quartz Ridge Fire Information | Bear Creek Fire Information

Smoke from wildfires and prescribed fires may affect your health. For more information, please go to https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

For more information, please contact Fred Ellis, assistant fire management officer (fuels), Pagosa Ranger District at fred.ellis@usda.gov.

For information about the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874 or visit the Forest website.

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