Slash piles to be burned near Empire in the Clear Creek Ranger District

Contact(s): Travis Mason-Bushman

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo.—December 6, 2019—U.S. Forest Service firefighters plan to take advantage of recent snowfall to burn slash piles near Empire on the Clear Creek Ranger District over the next week, focusing on the Blue Creek area:

  • Blue Creek (3,000 hand piles) – Northwest of Empire along the U.S. 40 corridor.

Smoke may be visible from Empire, Evergreen, and Echo Hills and Beaver Brook subdivisions.

Wind helps disperse smoke created during pile burning operations and snow helps keep the piles contained. Seeing flames and smoke, even after dark, is part of normal operations. This reduces fuels on the landscape under the safest conditions.

Conditions are evaluated each day to determine if ignition will take place. Ignitions are generally expected to begin after 10 a.m. and will cease several hours before sunset. Smoke may be visible. Precipitation, wind, temperature, fuel moisture, and staffing all play a part in when and whether ignition occurs. Firefighters monitor the area after burning is complete. Public and firefighter safety is always the number-one priority in burning operations.

If you know someone who would like to receive updates on pile burning activities on the Clear Creek Ranger District, have them send an e-mail to and ask to be added to the Clear Creek Ranger District Prescribed Fire list. To unsubscribe, please reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

For a complete list of locations where pile burning will occur this season, as well as updated accomplishments and photos, visit our InciWeb page at