A map of the Cherry Creek prescribed burn area.

Prescribed fires planned this week in Garfield and Eagle counties

April 19, 2022

RIFLE, Colo. – Fire managers with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit anticipate conditions to be ideal for igniting two prescribed fires on the White River National Forest this week.

If conditions allow, firefighters plan to implement the 1,200-acre Cherry Creek Prescribed Fire in Garfield County 10 miles north of Silt tomorrow, and the 1,100-acre Taylor Creek (Seven Castles) Prescribed Fire six miles east of Basalt in Eagle County on Thursday.

Fire conditions currently vary widely across western Colorado based on elevation, slope, aspect, and other factors. While some lower elevations are seeing high fire danger, the higher elevations are still covered in snow. The areas planned for prescribed fires this week are at and above 7,500 feet elevation. Both project areas are surrounded by snow, which will be used to help keep the prescribed fire within the desired perimeter.

“We are monitoring the conditions on the ground along with site-specific weather forecasts very carefully, and we are anticipating a good opportunity for safe, effective burns in these two areas,” said Dan Nielsen, Central Zone Prescribed Fire and Fuels Specialist with the White River National Forest. “If conditions are not within the pre-identified prescription, we will not ignite the prescribed fires.”

Prescribed fires are carefully planned burns to reduce dense vegetation and other fuels, which helps lower the risk of large wildfires and stimulates new vegetation growth benefiting wildlife habitat.

Firefighters will ignite small, manageable sections of the burn area at a time. Firefighters on the ground will help ensure the fire stays within the planned perimeter. Potentially large amounts of smoke may be visible, particularly in the early afternoon. Most smoke should transport out of the area with the forecasted westerly transport winds.

Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and obtained smoke permits from the State of Colorado for both planned burns. Please contact Dan Nielsen 970-309-8198 for additional information. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. Check the USFS website for more information.

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