Forest Service will burn wood piles outside of Redstone | AspenTimes.com

Forest Service will burn wood piles outside of Redstone

Staff report

The U.S. Forest Service is alerting people that it will be burning wood piles this week in the Filoha Meadows area about three miles north of Redstone.

The prescribed burn will take about four days, according to the White River National Forest Supervisor's Office. The agency wanted to alert people so they wouldn't be surprised or alarmed by the smoke and flames. Smoke from the burning may be visible from Highway 133 around the Redstone area. Most of the smoke will dissipate during the day, but some nighttime smoke may remain in valley bottoms and drainages for the short term.

The work is a continuation of the Aspen-Sopris Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project with collaborative efforts by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife and Pitkin County to manage vegetation for wildland fire mitigation and wildlife habitat improvement in the Filoha Meadows area, the Forest Service said in a statement.

The wood or slash piles were created when a fuel break was created last spring in the project area. Past fire-suppression efforts allowed a large amount of fuels to build up.

"This fuel break has decreased that buildup, helping reduce the risk of a much larger, unwanted wildfire from encroaching on the community while giving firefighters a chance to defend homes," the Forest Service said.

The agency wanted to wait for ideal conditions to burn the slash piles. That requires light winds and some permanent snow.

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Some of the homeowners along Dorais Way near Filoha Meadows also have done work on their property to help mitigate the potential wildfire risk, according to the Forest Service. Anything landowners can do in potentially risky areas will help give firefighters a chance to save properties from damage in the event of a wildfire near their homes. Visit http://www.firewise.org for more help.

For more information, contact the Sopris Ranger District office at 970-963-2266.