Barbara Lawlor, Boulder County. This is the time of year when mountain residents are apt to see piles of slash burning in the forest service mitigation areas. As foresters watch the weather forecast, conditions are evaluated each day to decide whether slash pile ignitions will take place.
Ideally, there is snow on the ground, as well as precipitation and wind, that will allow the smoke to dissipate. The burn usually begins after 10 a.m. and ceases before sunset. Firefighters monitor the area after the burning has been completed.
Last week, Wednesday, Dec. 15, the forest service completed burning slash piles during the snowstorm on nearly 65 acres along Magnolia Road. Pile burning will now move to Rocky Point, west of Gold Hill and then to the Bunce School Road in the Saint Vrain Project.
Kathrine Armstrong of the USFS warns that prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
A complete list of areas where pile burning could occur on the Boulder Ranger District this season is located at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4648/.