Columbine Rx Burn Thank You

Bayfield - October 5. 2018


The Columbine Ranger District would like to thank the community for their patience and support during the 2018 prescribed fire season.  We recognize that people were affected by the smoke and fire.   With community support and cooperation we treated over 5000 acres of public land in the Sauls Creek and Yellow Jacket areas. 


Hotter and drier conditions experienced this summer allowed us to treat areas of the forest which have not experienced fire in over a century.  Prescribed burns like Sauls Creek and Yellow Jacket improves deer and elk wintering habitat, increases habitat diversity and improves overall forest resiliency.  In addition to improving wildlife habitat, these types of treatments in our forests protect infrastructures and private property by removing the overabundance of fuels helping to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. 


These types of projects would not be possible without continued community support.  During this fall and early winter we will assess opportunities to begin pile burning. These piles are the result of mechanical fuel treatment which has taken place across the district.  These mechanical treatments coupled with prescribed fire utilize a multi- disciplinary approach to restoring and rebuilding a resilient ecosystem and protecting infrastructure.  

 As you explore the San Juan National Forest post burn please be aware that hazards may exist:

  • Areas of smoke may still be visible as stump holes and logs continue to burn.

  • Open flame may be visible from time to time and is expected within the interior of the burn.

  • Shallow root systems have burned and standing dead trees (snags) as well as trees that appear healthy may fall, especially in high winds.

  • Walking through blackened areas may not be safe for people or pets. White ash may indicate deep pockets of heat where roots and ground vegetation continue to burn below ground level.

For any questions or concerns, please call Columbine Ranger District Office (970) 884-2512.




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