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By Brandy Richardson
Special to The SUN
Fire managers with the San Juan National Forest Pagosa Ranger District plan to conduct a 90-acre prescribed burn this week on the south side of Chimney Rock. Chimney Rock is located 17 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs, in the Chimney Rock National Monument.
Ignitions are planned to begin in the late morning hours of Wednesday, April 3; however, if significant precipitation occurs Tuesday evening, prescribed burning operations may be shifted to later in the week.
The prescribed burn will be conducted by 20-25 fire personnel using hand-ignition methods, with two U.S. Forest Service fire engines on scene. No highway closures are expected. Chimney Rock National Monument does not open for the season until May 15 and will not be affected.
Smoke will be visible from U.S. 160, Colo. 51, and the Arboles, Aspen Springs and Elk Park subdivision areas. Fuel loads were reduced within the burn unit through mechanical treatments in 2009, so smaller amounts of smoke are expected to be generated from the prescribed burn, but some smoke may settle overnight in the Stollsteimer Creek and Piedra River areas.
For additional information about the proposed burn or other fuels-reduction efforts, visit the Pagosa Ranger District, at 180 Pagosa St., or call 264-2268.