Prescribed burns planned on Rio Grande National Forest


SAN LUIS VALLEY— The San Luis Valley Interagency Fire Management Unit plans to conduct several prescribed burns this fall on the Rio Grande National Forest’s Conejos Peak, Divide, and Saguache Ranger Districts. These beneficial burns include:

Conejos Peak Ranger District
Hot Creek/Piedrosa:  This project area totals approximately 5,500 acres, which includes the Hot Creek Research Natural Area, and is located approximately ten miles west of Capulin. The project has been broken into 17 units and only a few of these units will be burned this fall depending on conditions. The prescribed burn is designed to reduce fuel buildup adjacent to private property and promote the long term health of ponderosa pine in the research natural area.
Alamaditas Unit 7:  This 500 acre unit is located approximately 5 miles northwest of the Fox Creek subdivision.  The purpose of the prescribed burn is to promote healthy ponderosa pine and improve bighorn sheep habitat.
Bighorn/Stateline Unit 5 & 6: These two units, totaling 1220 acres, are located approximately 6 miles southwest of Mogote. The purpose of the burn is to improve elk and deer winter range and reduce woody debris left from forest thinning projects.

Divide Ranger District
English Valley Unit D: This 1000 acre burn is located approximately 8 miles northwest of Del Norte and is designed to improve antelope habitat.

Saguache Ranger District
Buffalo Pass Units 2A, 2B, & 6: These three units, totaling 838 acres, are located approximately 21 miles west northwest of Saguache and will take several days to complete. The purpose of the burn is to improve elk and deer winter range and reduce woody debris left from forest thinning projects.
Squaw Creek: This 250 acre unit is part of a larger 550 acre project that includes portions of the San Luis Valley BLM and is located approximated 20 miles west of Saguache. The purpose of the burn is to improve elk and deer winter range and forest health.
    
Natural features and roads will help manage the burns.
Residents and visitors will likely see smoke coming from these areas for several hours each day during burn operations. Burn area maps will be posted on the roads leading into the project areas and local residents will be contacted prior to initiation of the prescribed burns.  
Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
For more information, contact the Conejos Peak District Ranger Office at: 719-274-8971, Divide District Ranger Office at 719-657-3321, or the Saguache District Ranger Office at: 719-655-2547.

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