Forest Service announces plan to begin pile burning | PostIndependent.com

Forest Service announces plan to begin pile burning

Staff report

Fire crews will begin burning slash piles in the coming weeks south and west of Carbondale in the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District.

Forest maintenance teams create slash piles when removing debris and other natural matter from the forest is unfeasible. The debris to be burned is a result of projects aimed at reducing hazardous fuels from the forest and improving wildlife habitats, the U.S. Forest Service said in a press release.

The Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit will manage the burns, located near Baylor Park area along the Four Mile Road, and at the Catawampus Timber Sale area near Crooked Creek Pass.

"With recent wet weather, conditions are favorable for burning slash piles in our fuels treatment areas," said Jim Genung, fuels specialist White River National Forest. "These piles were created by past timber removal projects. Burning them will decrease fuel-loading in the area."

The fire crews may burn hundreds of piles in a day, or only a few depending on conditions. Professionals look for ideal conditions with light winds and enough ground moisture to keep fire from spreading away from the piles.

Those near Baylor Park on burn days will likely see smoke, but officials don't expect any haze to linger long into the night.