Pile burning begins at Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests | SteamboatToday.com

Pile burning begins at Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sufficient winter weather conditions exist to allow fire personnel on the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests to begin annual slash pile burning.

Existing piles are typically a result of fuels reduction projects on the two National Forests in Colorado and Wyoming. Pile burning removes undesirable fuels for long-term public safety and is an important part of the USDA Forest Service fire/fuels annual program of work.

Forest users and the public should be aware of and expect to see smoke throughout the upcoming months. Piles may be burned near communities, travel routes and popular recreation areas. The burning of highly visible piles will be advertised closer to the date of ignition and questions should be directed to local Forest Service offices.

Broad public notification of site-specific pile burning will occur on the forests’ Twitter account, @FS_MBRTB. On-the-ground signage is often placed on adjacent roads for public notification, and closures are rarely necessary.

In recent years, the two forests have completed many forest management projects, including removing dead trees from travel corridors and recreation areas, as well as reducing hazardous fuels generated from the bark beetle epidemic. Fuels remaining in these areas have been gathered into piles, either mechanically or by hand.

Fire managers will monitor weather forecasts prior to igniting piles. Burns are only initiated if conditions are within established parameters for safe, effective fires. Each prescribed burn planned by the forests has gone through an environmental analysis and has a detailed burn plan developed in advance.

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