Morning Brief: Prescribed burns scheduled for Ron Stewart Preserve

The following is a press release from Boulder County Parks and Recreation and is published by the Longmont Observer as a public service.

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Photo courtesy of Boulder County Parks and Open Space

Boulder County Parks & Open Space and the Sheriff’s Office Wildland Fire Management Program plan to conduct prescribed burns at Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain and Heil Valley Ranch sometime between Jan. 10 and April 30, weather permitting.

At Ron Stewart Preserve, fire crews plan to burn acres in two project areas (Ron Stewart Preserve Prescribed Burn Area Map):

  • Approximately 30 acres in the South Dowe Flats project area. During this burn, the property will remain open as it is a safe distance from any recreation area.
  • Up to 210 acres in the Arapahoe project area. The preserve will be closed during ignition days.

At Heil Valley Ranch, fire crews plan to target two project areas. Both prescribed burn areas are adjacent to the trail system, so the park will be closed during all ignitions days (Heil Valley Ranch Prescribed Burn Area Map):

  • Approximately 80 acres in the Ingersoll project area
  • Up to 240 acres in the Wapiti project area.

To determine if conditions are suitable for ignitions, fire managers assess fuel moisture levels and continuously monitor current and projected weather forecasts. Weather considerations include wind, temperature, relative humidity, and air quality. Conditions have to meet certain criteria in order for the prescribed burn to proceed. Fire personnel will stop burning if weather conditions become unfavorable for fire control and or smoke management. Weather and safety conditions are monitored constantly.

Fire managers also attempt to choose weather conditions that minimize smoke impacts to the public or communities. However, smoke and flames may be visible for days to weeks following a prescribed burn. There may be heavy smoke in the air. Please do not call 911 since a prescribed burn is not an emergency. The areas will be monitored to ensure fires are completely out.

Smoke from prescribed fires may affect health. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Wood Smoke and Health webpage and the Boulder County Public Health Wildfire Air Quality & Health webpage provide tips on how to protect health from smoke.

For additional information, contact Boulder County Parks & Open Space Senior Forester Stefan Reinold at 303-678-6202 or sreinold@bouldercounty.org. Updates will be posted to www.BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org/burns.


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