Prince Creek prescribed burn begins this week
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Fire officials from the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit were to begin work this week on a 140-acre prescribed fire in the Prince Creek area about 10 miles south of Carbondale.
The fire may produce a large amount of smoke that will be visible from Carbondale and the surrounding area, according to a press release from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Prince Creek Road will remain open, but firefighters are asking the public to avoid the area if possible to reduce traffic congestion and safety concerns.
Following prep work on Monday, firefighters planned to ignite the fire on Tuesday and continue on Wednesday, weather permitting. The burn is intended to get rid of dead slash on the ground as part of a fuels reduction project two years ago.
A “prescribed fire” follows a detailed prescription of acceptable weather and fuel conditions, and conditions appear good for this burn, according to Ody Anderson, fuels specialist with the fire management unit.
“The weather we’ve been having in the valley this spring has actually created conditions we are looking for with this burn – low fire danger and a low potential to spread into the shrubs and trees in the area,” Anderson said in the release.
The prescribed burn is designed to lessen the risk of a wildfire burning from BLM land into the nearby Prince Creek Subdivision, in addition to improving ecosystem health and wildlife habitat, according to the release.
Two years ago crews thinned oak and other brush from about 195 acres in the area. Last spring crews burned about 40 acres.
“The fire will only be ignited if it falls within the prescribed conditions for a safe and effective fire,” the BLM said in its release. “If conditions begin to fall outside of the prescribed conditions, the burning will be called off.”
More than 20 firefighters will be on hand to manage the fire. Additional resources, including fire engines, are available should they be needed. For more information, call (970) 947-2800.
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