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Prescribed burns planned on the Pagosa District

Fire managers on the Pagosa Ranger District are planning to conduct several prescribed burns on Forest Service lands near Pagosa Springs in the next few months.

Location and size of prescribed burns are covered in more detail below:

• Burns Canyon Prescribed Burn — located west of Trujillo Road 12 miles from town. Smoke will be visible from Pagosa Lakes, Town of Pagosa, Holiday Acres and U.S. 84. Nighttime smoke will settle in Burns and Polito Canyons and some may drift as far as Trujillo Road. Total acres: 475.

• Horsefly Prescribed Burn — located along the First Fork Road (FSR 622), north of U.S. 160. The Horsefly Burn is about 22 miles west of Pagosa Springs in the Piedra watershed. Smoke from the Horsefly burn may be visible from Aspen Springs and parts of Pagosa Lakes. Nighttime smoke will settle on the Piedra River and may be visible on U.S. 160. Total acres: 985.

• Brockover Prescribed Burn — located about 8 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs between the Turkey Springs Road (FSR 629) and the Newt Jack Road (FSR 923). Smoke will be visible from U.S. 160, Piedra Road, Pagosa Lakes, the north part of Archuleta County and the Sportsman’s Store community in Hinsdale County. Some nighttime smoke may settle in Hatcher or Pagosa Highlands in Pagosa Lakes and also in Martinez Canyon. Total 200-300 acres.

The objectives of prescribed burning are to:

1. Return fire as a natural process to fire dependent and fire adapted ecosystems.

2. Reduce ground and ladder fuels, decreasing risk of crown fire in forested stands.

3. Improve or maintain wildlife habitat.

4. Recycle nutrients.

5. Consume slash left over from forest health and fuels reduction thinning projects.

If you are planning to recreate or hunt in these areas, please look for signs posted near prescribed burn areas. For additional information about the proposed burns or other fuels-reduction efforts, contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.

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