Winter conditions will mark the start of pile burning season on Boulder Ranger District

K. “Reid” Armstrong
Boulder County

As winter conditions settle in, the Boulder Ranger District of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland will work to burn slash piles resulting from fuels reductions and hazardous tree removal projects in the area.

Hand piles are a result of crews using chainsaws to thin the forest, the subsequent cut material is piled for burning. Machine piles are the result of using logging equipment and consist of primarily the limbs of trees as most of the logs have already been removed. These piles must be burned before the treatment is complete.

Pile burning could begin in November and will continue through the spring, as conditions allow. Piles are only ignited under favorable weather conditions. Adequate snow cover and atmospheric conditions conducive to smoke dispersal and lift are necessary for burning to occur. Firefighters monitor the area after burning is complete. Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations.

Piles that are ready for burning are prioritized based on elevation, aspect, access, and proximity to homes.

Areas on the Boulder Ranger District with hand and machine piles ready for burning are:

  • The Lump Gulch Project near Bobcat Trail, Lump Gulch Road, Glenmawr Drive, and Snowline Lake Subdivision. (34 acres of hand piles or approximately 850 piles)
  • The Kelly Dahl Project 1 mile south/southeast of the junction of 119 and 72 or .25 miles south/southeast of the Kelly Dahl Campground. (5 machine piles)
  • The Front Range/ Forsythe Project half a mile east/northeast of County Rd. 97. (18 acres of hand piles or approximately 450 piles)
  • The Sugarloaf 151 Project west/southwest of Nederland Fire Station 2 or 1 mile east of Barker Reservoir Dam. (28 acres of hand piles or approximately 700 piles)
  • The Sugarloaf 137 Project north of Cougar Run and west of Shady Hollow Road in the St. Anton subdivision. (22 small machine piles)
  • The Sugarloaf 4 Project is 1.75 miles west of Gold Hill and along 5 miles of the Peak to Peak Highway on County Road 52. (19 acres of hand piles or approximately 475 piles)
  • The James Creek RFB Project (Units 6,7,8) is a half mile sound of Jamestown or ΒΌ mile east of Bar K Ranch. (300 acres of hand piles or approximately 7500 piles)
  • The James Creek RFB Project (unit 1) is 1.5 miles northwest of Jamestown and west of Count road 87. (32 acres of hand piles or approximately 800 piles)
  • The James Creek RFB Project (Unit 17) is 0.5 miles north of Cal-Wood Ranch. (57 acres of hand piles or approximately 1425 piles)
  • The James Creek M3202 Project is 1 mile east of Gold Lake Ranch and 2.5 miles southwest of Jamestown. (29 acres of hand piles or approximately 725 piles)
  • The James Creek M1603 Project near the Ceran/St. Vrain trailhead and a quarter mile northwest of Bar-K Subdivision. (4 acres of hand piles or approximately 100 piles)
  • The James Creek RFB (Unit 10) is 2 miles east of Peak to Peak Highway on Highway 52. (130 acres of hand piles or approximately 3,250 piles)
  • The James Creek M3401 near Boulder Heights Subdivision and east of Peak View Road and Peak View Circle. (18 acres of hand piles or approximately 450 hand piles and 3 machine piles)
  • The Gill Project is a quarter-mile south of Jamestown. (37 acres of hand piles or approximately 925 piles)
  • The St. Vrain Project (unit 5) near Highway 7 and 72 Junction and .5 mile west of Raymond. (30 acres of piles or approximately 325 hand piles and 2 machine piles)
  • The St. Vrain Project (units 13d, 14a, 14c) near Johnny Park Road or 82E and 1 mile west of Big elk Subdivision. (456 acres of hand piles or approximately 11,400 piles)
  • The St. Vrain/ Mt. Taylor Project is 3 miles east of Allenspark. (20 acres of hand piles or approximately 500 piles)

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

If you would like to receive regular updates about burning in your area, send an email to BRDvis@fs.fed.us<mailto:BRDvis@fs.fed.us>

Also, visit the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grasslands Inciweb Page at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4648 or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usfsarp.