Prescribed burns planned for the Dolores Ranger District

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DOLORES, Colo., April 17, 2024 — The San Juan National Forest’s Dolores Ranger District is planning to conduct several prescribed burns starting later this month. Burning operations will take place over multiple days when weather and fuel conditions are favorable and may continue throughout the summer and into fall based on conditions.

Project areas identified for burn implementation are:

  • Haycamp Mesa: 4,577 acres located 10 miles east of Dolores, along the Haycamp Mesa Road, Forest Service Road (FSR) 556 – Haycamp Mesa Units 5,6, and 9.
  • Boggy Draw: 7,540 acres located 3 - 15 miles northeast of Dolores, along the Dolores-Norwood Road near Little Bean Canyon, Boggy Draw Road FSR 527, and Cottonwood Canyon Road FSR 532 – Boggy Draw Units 17, 18, 20, 45, 48, 50, and 51
  • Salter: 2,939 acres located 7 - 15 miles east of Cahone, near Salter Y and Ormiston Point Road FSR 521 – Salter Units 32, 33, 34, 37, 39, 41

Both hand and aerial ignition methods may be utilized, following the weather, fuel and smoke parameters stated in the prescribed fire plan. U.S. Forest Service personnel will conduct burning operations with assistance from cooperating agencies.

During burning operations, smoke may be visible around Dolores, Dove Creek, Cortez, Mancos, Rico, Towaoc, and HWY 491 between Dove Creek and Pleasant View. Smoke may settle into low lying valleys and the Dolores River Canyon overnight. USFS personnel will conduct smoke monitoring, and ignitions will be scheduled to minimize smoke impacts to communities. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. More information can be found online.

While fire managers always seek to give ample notice of prescribed fire plans to area residents, they are always tentative and subject to change last-minute if conditions are not met. Visitors should be prepared for temporary closures of roads, trails, and dispersed camping areas during prescribed fire operations.

Reintroduction of prescribed fire is necessary to improve and restore vegetative conditions. This effort will reduce hazardous ground fuels, lessen the risk of unplanned large-scale wildfire, help restore ponderosa pine ecosystems, and improve wildlife habitat. Prescribed fire also reduces the ladder fuels that can carry fire into the canopy, killing mature trees.

Maps of the prescribed burn units and additional SJNF prescribed fire program information can be found on InciWeb. For more information, please contact Fire Management Officer Matthew Traynham or by phone at (970) 882-6837.

For information on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874, visit the forest website, or follow us on social media (X and Facebook).

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