Winter conditions mark the start of pile burning season |

Winter conditions mark the start of pile burning season

Showing the burn scar from the Silver Creek Fire on Sept. 24. Burning operations are slated to begin soon in Grand County to help prevent forest fires.

With wintery weather settling into the area, pile burning could begin as early as Oct. 29 and continue throughout the spring, depending on weather and fuel conditions, of course.

On Wednesday, the US Forest Service announced crews will soon begin pile burning throughout the Sulphur Ranger District of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland.

A news release explained that fuel reduction programs involve mechanical or hand thinning projects, in which trees are removed to reduce forest density and improve forest health. While larger logs are removed for use, limbs, saplings and brush are piled for burning.

The piles are then ignited when forest officials feel confident the burning can be done safely. Snow cover, fuel moisture, precipitation, wind, temperature and available firefighters are all taken into account before beginning a burn.

Piles that are ready for burning are prioritized based on elevation, aspect, access and proximity to homes. Smoke, flames and glowing embers are often visible and a normal part of the burning operations.

Smoke from prescribed burns can affect some people’s health. For more,

The Sulphur Ranger District has prioritized the areas listed below for pile burning this fall:

Winter Park Fuels/Upper Fraser (2,500 hand piles) – Southwest of Fraser and Winter Park.

Keyser Creek Fuels (250 machine piles) – North and south of Keyser Creek

Keyser Creek Fuels (250 machine piles) – North and south of Keyser Creek

Jericho Road Fuels (700 hand piles) – Northwest of Granby Dam

• Trail Creek Fuels North (5,000 hand piles) – 2.5 miles northwest of Fish Bay on Granby Lake

ANRA/Supply Creek Fuels/Kawuneeche Road North (20 machine piles and 1,000 hand piles) – 1.5 miles northwest of Columbine Lake, near Supply Creek Trailhead

• Willow Creek Fuels East (500 hand piles) – East of Highway 125 near Kauffman Creek

• Pass Creek (175 machine piles) – West and east of Highway 125 near Gravel Mountain

Blue Ridge (15,000 hand piles) – South of County Road 55 along Blue Ridge

• Cabin Creek (3 machine piles) –West of Highway 125 and FSR 112.

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