Prescribed burn planned on 2,000 acres in Cattle Creek

Project designed to enhance wildlife habitat, reduce fire risk

Staff report

A prescribed burn is planned Saturday in this landscape in Upper Cattle Creek. The burn will improve wildlife habitat and reduce wildfire risk.
USFS/courtesy photo

The U.S. Forest Service is alerting Roaring Fork Valley residents that a prescribed burn planned for Saturday could produce smoke visible from the valley floor.

The Cattle Creek Prescribed Burn is planned 9 miles northeast of El Jebel and 9 miles southwest of Gypsum. Firefighters are planning to burn about 2,000 acres on the White River National Forest using a helicopter for aerial ignition. Smoke may be visible from the Roaring Fork Valley and Interstate 70 corridor, the agency said.

Smoke should dissipate during the day but may remain on the valley floors as temperatures drop. People are urged not to call 911.

“We are carefully monitoring the weather forecast and fuel moisture. We will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions allow for a safe, effective burn and good smoke dispersal,” Upper Colorado River Deputy Fire Management Officer Lathan Johnson said in a statement. “The snow has sufficiently melted off the target areas while the surrounding areas still retain moisture and snow to help hold the fire.”

The prescribed burn is intended to improve wildlife habitat and reduce wildfire risk.