Prescribed fires planned on Rio Grande National Forest

MONTE VISTA — The San Luis Valley Interagency Fire Management Unit plans to conduct several prescribed fires this Spring on the Rio Grande National Forest. Ignitions will take place only if conditions are favorable and will meet burn plan parameters. These burns include:

  • English Valley: This 1200-acre prescribed fire will take place on the Divide Ranger District approximately five miles north of Del Norte. The purpose of this burn is to rejuvenate grass and shrub cover to improve pronghorn habitat.
  • Conejos Canyon Unit 1: This 200-acre fire area is located on the Conejos Peak Ranger District one mile north of the Fox Creek subdivision. The prescribed burn is designed to reduce fuels buildup adjacent to the subdivision.
  • Bighorn/Stateline Units 5 and 6: These two units, totaling 1,225 acres, are located on the Conejos Peak Ranger District four miles southwest of Mogote 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: Located approximately 17 miles west of Saguache, this 550-acre burn is on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. The purpose of the burn is to reduce fuel loading and improve timber stand health by reducing spruce budworm and mistletoe infected trees.

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. Residents will be contacted prior to initiation of the prescribed burns.

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, see

For more information on the prescribed fires, contact Kent Smith at 719-850-1064.

For information on the Rio Grande National Forest, call 719-852-5941, visit the forest website.