Officials preparing for prescribed burn at Rifle Garfield County Airport |

Officials preparing for prescribed burn at Rifle Garfield County Airport

Aeropuerto del condado de Rifle Garfield.
Foto de Archivo / Kyle Mills

Crews are gathering nearby vegetation like greasewood, sagebrush and small juniper trees into 10-by-60-foot piles for a prescribed burn test soon at Rifle Garfield County Airport, a fire official said on Tuesday.

The prescribed burn is being coordinated with Garfield County, the airport, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and its Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting division.

“The idea is to create something similar to the fuels we fight fires with on the Western Slope,” said Dave Toelle, aviation projects manager with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

The aim of the prescribed burn, which officials are targeting the weekend Sept. 24-26 depending on weather conditions, is to deploy and test a fire suppressant called FS-01.

Toelle said two fire engines will be deployed to suppress the burn — one of which will be releasing the mix to put out the fire.

“We’re not anticipating using a lot of the product,” Toelle said. “We’ll probably mix up 100 gallons of water with 8 gallons of fire suppressant.”

According to a Monday news release, burning will only be conducted under specific guidelines and plans established by the Division of Fire Prevention and Control, including having acceptable weather forecasts and fuel conditions that meet guidelines for safe and effective burning and adequate smoke dispersal.

The Division of Fire Prevention has operated at the Rifle Garfield County Airport since 2015.

People are being asked not to call 911 to report smoke at the airport, the release states.

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