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Prescribed burning planned on Pagosa Ranger District

By Brandy Richardson
Special to The SUN

Fire managers on the Pagosa Ranger District are planning to conduct up to three prescribed burns on National Forest lands this fall.

The goals of these treatments are to return fire as a natural process to fire dependent and fire adapted ecosystems, reduce ground and ladder fuels while decreasing risk of crown fire in forested stands, improve or maintain wildlife habitat, recycle nutrients  and 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 indicating a prescribed burn is in progress, and practice caution when recreating in the area.

Locations identified for prescribed burning include:

• Devil Creek 2 — located eight miles northwest of Pagosa Springs adjacent to Turkey Springs Road. A maximum of 631 acres could be burned.

• Brockover — located in the Turkey Springs area, seven miles northwest of Pagosa Springs between the Turkey Springs Road (FSR 629) and the Newt Jack Road (FSR 923). A maximum of 640 acres could be burned.

For the above burns, smoke will be visible from U.S. 160, Piedra Road, Pagosa Lakes, most of Archuleta County, and southern Hinsdale County near the Sportsman’s Store community. Some nighttime smoke may settle in Hatcher Lake subdivision or Pagosa Highlands in Pagosa Lakes and also into Martinez Canyon.

• Chimney Rock — located 17 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs, in Archuleta County on the south side of Chimney Rock National Monument.  Smoke will be visible from U.S. 160, Colo. 151, Arboles, Aspen Springs and Elk Park subdivisions. A maximum of 106 acres could be burned.  Burning will be completed after the closing of the monument.

Fire managers plan for prescribed burning to occur when it will have the least smoke impact on communities; however, because of predominant southwesterly winds, some of the smoke will drift into neighborhoods and communities.     For additional information about the proposed burns or other fuels-reduction efforts, visit the Pagosa Ranger District, at 180 Pagosa St., or call 264-2268.

This story was posted on September 5, 2013.