Dolores District Approves Prescribed Fire Plan

Dolores District Ranger, Derek Padilla, approved the final decision for the Dolores Prescribed Fire Pine Ecosystem Restoration Project.  This final decision continues and expands the future prescribed fire program in the Dolores District ponderosa pine zone, which stretches from the northwest corner of “The Glade” to the southeast corner of Haycamp Mesa.  Ponderosa pine forests are a fire adapted ecosystem, which historically experienced frequent, low intensity fires on a large scale. Prescribed fire replicates that fire regime under controlled conditions.  Over the coming years, prescribed burns will be conducted when weather and fuel conditions result in low-to-moderate intensity surface fire to restore and maintain healthy ecosystems in areas where fire historically played an important role.  Regular use of prescribed fire can help reduce the risk of large, high severity wildfire. 


Prescribed fires will only be ignited when all weather, fuels and smoke requirements are met. The roughly 240,000-acre project area will be divided into seven polygons or “implementation areas”.  Each implementation area will be further divided into approximately 10 to 15 burn units, and a burn plan will be created for each implementation area. Burn plans are required and are essentially implementation plans, written after the decision for the project is made.  It describes specific implementation tactics, objectives, resources, weather parameters, smoke management, desired effects, and burn strategies.  Each burn plan will incorporate the design features as described in the final environmental assessment.  Acres burned per year will vary between 2,000 and 10, 000 acres.


The final Decision Notice and Environmental Assessment including photos and maps are available online at:


There are no further opportunities for formal public comment and the objection process concluded all administrative review opportunities.


For more information contact Patrick Seekins, Fire Management Office, at 970-882-7296. 




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