Increased smoke expected from Snow Ranch Fire Thursday

Crews initiating burnout operations


According to the U.S. Forest Service, increased smoke is expected from the Snow Ranch Fire area today, Thursday, June 13, as crews initiate burnout operations.

The fire is located approximately 11 miles west of Pagosa Springs in the Chris Mountain area. The size is reported as three acres.

On Wednesday, June 12, crews prepared indirect containment line around roughly 400 acres of forest, an update from the agency states.

Today,  the update explains, "fire personnel will begin 'black lining' and interior firing operations using drip torches and a drone. Black lining is the term used to describe the application of fire to widen containment lines. Wider containment lines increase firefighter safety and reduce the likelihood of a wildfire jumping the line. This strategy is expected to reduce the risk to important values such as private residences, serving local communities now and into the future by providing firefighters an advantage when conditions are less favorable."

The smoke will be visible from U.S. 160 as the fire is burning on the southern boundary of the forest, just a few miles north of the highway, the update explains.

Please do not call 911 to report this fire. Approximately 100 personnel will be on hand to conduct the operations tomorrow and ensure the fire stays within the designated boundaries, according to the Forest Service.

Fire activities will be taking place on both sides of NFSR 681 (Chris Mountain Trail) and fire traffic will be heavy, so please avoid this area. Crews expect to reopen access to the road within a few days, the update notes.