Prince Creek prescribed burn begins |

Prince Creek prescribed burn begins

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Fire officials from the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit were to begin work on a 140-acre prescribed fire in the Prince Creek area about 10 miles south of Carbondale today.

The prescribed 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.

“Burning should begin later this afternoon as firefighters burn a ‘black-line’ around the perimeter of the burn area,” according to the BLM.

Firefighters plan to ignite the fire in the burn area on Tuesday and continuing Wednesday, weather permitting.

Firefighters are burning dead slash on the ground that resulted from fuels reduction work two years ago.

A “prescribed fire” is intended to follow 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 have 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 Prince Creek Prescribe Fire is part of a project designed to lessen the risk of a wildfire burning from BLM land into the nearby Prince Creek Subdivision. It should also improve 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. The burn will remove the dead vegetation remaining from the thinning effort. 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. “Fire crews work directly with the National Weather Service as well as take frequent weather readings before and during the burning.

“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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