Smoke over El Jebel this winter | PostIndependent.com
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Smoke over El Jebel this winter

EL JEBEL — Federal rangers will be burning slash piles in the hills above this unincorporated community for much of the coming winter, as part of an effort to thin the amount of readily available fuel for wildland fires in the region.

The piles are left over from a “fuels reduction project” conducted last year by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) along County Road 100 and Panorama Drive, when crews thinned pinion pine and juniper trees in the area, as well as mowing 138 acres of dense shrubs and brush.

According to BLM Fuels Specialist Rusty Stark, there are about 700 slash piles to be burned, and the agency is waiting for the snow depth to reach at least three inches before the piles can be burned.

Smoke from the slash fires may be visible from Carbondale, El Jebel and Basalt, and drifting smoke may be noticed by homeowners in the area, according to a statement issued by the BLM. The burns could begin as early as next week, the statement said, and may last through March 2014.


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