Boulder County and U.S. Forest Service plan to collaborate on prescribed burn

BOULDER, Colo. (March 23, 2018) The Roosevelt National Forest’s Boulder Ranger District, in cooperation with Boulder County, is proposing a prescribed burn on 28 acres of National Forest adjacent to Boulder County Open Space’s Heil Valley Ranch.

The goal of the “Ingersoll Collaborative Burn Project” is to reestablish the natural fire regime to these ponderosa pine stands, creating a more resilient ecosystem that will reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire. Ponderosa pine’s natural fire cycle occurs every 8-15 years, but with the suppression activity required to keep citizen’s lives and property protected, the natural cycle hasn’t been able to complete its course.

The Ingersoll Collaborative Burn Project proposes to burn 28 acres of National Forest, which is bordered on three sides by Boulder County’s 260-acres Heil Valley Ranch prescribed fire project. The county has been thinning and broadcast burning on the ranch for several years to return the ecosystem to its natural fire cycle. The smaller diameter trees (ladder fuels) and lower branches on trees will be thinned using chainsaws in preparation for the proposed burn. Thinned and pruned material would be lopped and scattered, away from larger diameter trees, to be burned during the prescribed fire.

This project, which could begin as soon as the fall of 2018, will help facilitate the larger burn planned by Boulder County. Rather than excluding all National Forest lands adjacent to the Boulder County broadcast burn by digging fire lines, the proposal would allow firefighters to use natural barriers, such as the ridgeline on the National Forest, to secure the burn area. Not only will this project reduce surface and crown fuel loading, improve wildlife habitat and make these ponderosa pine stands more resilient across the landscape, it also presents an opportunity to collaborate efforts across agencies and jurisdictional boundaries.

Find a map and more project information at Public input is always welcome, but comments would be most useful if received prior to April 30, 2018. Email comments to Cambria Armstrong at or call (970) 295-6768.