Prescribed burns set near Basalt, Silt on forest service land

Fire officials looking to burn 2,300 acres between two projects

Staff Report
The map for the scheduled 1,100 prescribed burn on USFS land east of Basalt.
Courtesy image

If you see smoke Wednesday east of Basalt or north of Silt, it likely will be from prescribed burns conducted by the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit.

The agency said Tuesday if conditions in the area allow they will burn 1,100 acres of White River National Forest land 6 miles east of Basalt dubbed the Taylor Creek (Seven Castles) Prescribed Fire. They also are hoping to burn 1,200 acres of national forest land about 10 miles north of Silt (Cherry Creek Prescribed Fire).

In a news release, the agency said while some lower elevations are seeing high fire danger, the higher elevations are still covered in snow. The areas planned for prescribed fires are at and above 7,500 feet elevation, according to officials, and both areas are surrounded by snow, which will be used to help keep the prescribed fire within the desired perimeter.

“We are monitoring the conditions on the ground along with site-specific weather forecasts very carefully, and we are anticipating a good opportunity for safe, effective burns in these two areas,” Dan Nielsen, Central Zone Prescribed Fire and Fuels Specialist with the White River National Forest, said in the release. “If conditions are not within the pre-identified prescription, we will not ignite the prescribed fires.”

The National Weather Service had red flag warnings for high wind and dry conditions Tuesday, but those were for areas below 6,500 feet and did not include Eagle or Pitkin counties. Tuesday’s winds were ahead of an approaching Pacific storm, and cooler temperature and possible chance of rain were in the Tuesday night forecast for both areas.

The map for the scheduled 1,200 prescribed burn on USFS land north of Silt.
Courtesy image

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