Prescribed burning planned at Sand Dunes, BLM lands
THE National Park Service plans to burn several piles of woody debris at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve starting on Monday, Jan. 23. The piles will only be burned if and when the ground and adjacent fuels are sufficiently wet from rain or snow, and these wet conditions are present until the burning is completed.
The piles will be ignited by firefighters and monitored until they are completely out which may occur over the course of five days. Area residents and park visitors may see open flames and/or smell smoke in the vicinity of the park during the burn.
The piles consist of dead woody material from previous hazard fuels reduction projects. This project reduces fuels around park infrastructure and park boundaries directly adjacent to the private land since this fuel load represents a wildland fire hazard within these areas. The project will reduce the threat of fire to private homes and help protect the plants, wildlife, and important resources in the park. The burn will be conducted with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service Rio Grande National Forest.
Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. More information HERE.
For more information regarding the prescribed burn, contact Chief Ranger Dale Culver at 719-588-2014.
The Bureau of Land Management is preparing to conduct pile burns in two locations this winter. Exact dates will be determined by weather and fuel moisture conditions.
Pile burns are conducted each winter to remove dead wood and other flammable materials from forested areas. This process is critical to maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem and to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
- Biedell – 3,000 piles. Legal Location: T43N R6E sections 21 and 22. Piles are large hand piles and the surrounding fuel types are Ponderosa Pine, Doulas fir, Aspen, and grass. The project is located on BLM lands eight miles north/northwest of La Garita, two miles north of the Lime Creek subdivision on Saguache CR 42K.
- Macintire Mansion piles – 2 piles. Legal Location: T35N R11E section seven and 18. There are two machine built piles containing Cottonwood debris from the protection of the old mansion and debris from maintaining ditches. The project is located on BLM lands four miles east/northeast of Sanford.
Pile burns may continue through April 2023. Smoke from the pile burns will be visible throughout the day of a burn, mostly during the warmest part of the day. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may linger and accumulate in low-lying areas. Notifications of confirmed burns will be published on the BLM Colorado Fire Facebook and Twitter accounts.