Filoha Meadows slash pile to be burned
The Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest is conducting slash pile burning in the Filoha Meadows area starting this week.
The site for this 6-acre prescribed fire is located approximately two miles north of Redstone and about 13 miles south of Carbondale on national forest lands near Penny Hot Springs and adjoining private lands in Pitkin County. Officials anticipate that this burning may take up to four days to accomplish.
This work is a continuation of the Aspen-Sopris Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project with collaborative efforts by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife and Pitkin County to manage vegetation for wildland fire mitigation and wildlife habitat improvement in the Filoha Meadows area.
The slash piles in the area are the result of a fuel break that was created last spring to reduce the threat from wildfire impacting the surrounding community and to improve wildlife habitat. Due to past suppression efforts, fire has been absent from the area for a number of years, resulting in a large buildup of fuel. This fuel break has decreased that buildup, helping reduce the risk of a much larger, unwanted wildfire, while giving firefighters a chance to defend homes, according to the Forest Service.
Ideal conditions require adequate ventilation or light winds for smoke dispersion and some permanent snow on the ground to keep fire contained to the piles.
Smoke from burning may be visible from Colorado State Highway 133 around the Redstone area. Most of the smoke will dissipate during the day; however some nighttime smoke may remain in valley bottoms and drainages for the short term.
Some of the homeowners along Dorais Way near Filoha Meadows have also done work on their property to help mitigate the potential wildfire risk. Anything landowners can do in potentially risky areas will help give firefighters a chance to save properties from damage in the event of a wildfire occurrence near their homes. Visit http://www.firewise.org for more help.
For more information call the Sopris Ranger District office, 970-963-2266.
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Out-of-town hunters descend in droves upon Rifle every year to navigate the rugged, Western Slope terrain as they try to bag their share of trophy elk.