Aspen-Sopris Ranger District to implement hazardous fuels reduction project in the Crystal River Valley

Release Date: Aug 9, 2018  

August 9, 2018

Aspen-Sopris Ranger District to implement hazardous fuels reduction project in the Crystal River Valley

CARBONDALE, Colo. – The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District has released the signed decision memo for the Crystal River Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Fuels Reduction Project. The Crystal River WUI Fuels Reduction Project is located in the Crystal River Valley south of Carbondale in Pitkin and Gunnison Counties in an area of the forest where homes have been built within and adjacent to fire-dependent ecosystems, mainly the mountain brush fuel types.

The project, which will address just over 290 acres, will work to reduce hazardous fuel build-up on forest lands adjacent to communities to give places from which firefighters can safely engage wildfire and help reduce the risk to private property and structures.

“I am pleased to sign a decision on a project that will provide defensible space to communities nearby Forest lands,” said Karen Schroyer, District Ranger. “In light of recent events, now it is more important than ever to work together to find ways to reduce hazardous fuels and create places from which firefighters can safely engage future wildfires.”

Dense fuels such as dead vegetation, woody debris, grass, shrubs and trees contribute to one or a combination of risks for high intensity wildfire. By reducing these fuels, managers are creating a condition where wildfire will burn at lower intensities, reduce ember production and lessen damage to ecosystems. The project will be implemented using a combination of mechanical treatment on five identified units and prescribed fire on a sixth unit. Mechanical implementation will begin in late summer of 2018. Managers will look to implement the prescribed burn, if conditions are right, late in fall of 2018.

For more information about the project visit the project website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51886.