The Dolores Ranger District plans to conduct two prescribed burns beginning late September and potentially lasting into October, weather permitting.
The South Carver burn, will take place three miles north of Summit Reservoir near the intersection of U.S. Forest Service roads 556 and 557 in the Carver Canyon area of Haycamp Mesa. About 1,200 acres will be burned by hand crews over five to seven days.
The goal is reduce slash left from a previous timber sale and reduce the buildup of natural fuels. Smoke will be visible from Colorado Highway 184 between Dolores and Mancos, as well as from Cortez. Smoke may settle into low lying areas near the burn overnight.
The Lake Canyon prescribed burn will take place 12 miles east of Dove Creek, near the Glade area west and south of Forest roads 504 and 509. Both hand and aerial ignition methods will be used for two to five days to ignite 2,700 acres. The goal is to reduce ground litter by mimicking historic fire-return intervals. Smoke may be visible from Dove Creek, Cortez, U.S. Highway 491 between Dove Creek and Pleasant View areas. Smoke may settle into the low lying valleys and the Dolores River Canyon overnight. Smoke monitoring will be conducted and ignitions will be timed to maximize smoke dispersal.
Burning operations will be conducted by qualified district personnel and other fire resources from the Forest Service and cooperating agencies. The purpose is to reduce hazardous ground fuels, reduce the risk of unplanned catastrophic wildfire, restore ponderosa pine ecosystems and improve wildlife habitat while providing conditions for regular follow-up burns to be conducted more efficiently and safely. Ponderosa pine forests are a fire adapted ecosystem, which historically experienced frequent, low-intensity fires on a large scale. Prescribed fire replicates that fire regime under controlled conditions. Prescribed fires will only be ignited when all weather, fuels and smoke requirements are met.