Feds plan prescribed burn near Redstone; don’t call 911 because of smoke | AspenTimes.com

Feds plan prescribed burn near Redstone; don’t call 911 because of smoke

Staff report

The U.S. Forest Service aims to have a prescribed burn about 9 miles south of Carbondale starting as early as Friday.

The agency will target as many as 500 acres of mountain shrub, pinyon-juniper and aspen trees at Avalanche Creek and east of Filoha Meadows. The operation depends on favorable weather conditions. If the project proceeds, it will take three to five days.

Smoke will be visible from various locations along the Highway 133 corridor. The Forest Service is urging people not to call 911.

The intent of the project is to create improved habitat conditions for wintering bighorn sheep, deer and elk and promote the growth of nutrient-rich forage, according to a statement released by the White River National Forest supervisor’s office. A secondary benefit of the project will be the reduction of fuel loads in the mountain shrub and aspen vegetation adjacent to homes in the Swiss Village and Filoha Meadows areas.

“This will be the third year we will conduct prescribed fire activities in the Avalanche Creek and Filoha Meadows area,” said Phil Nyland, Forest Service wildlife biologist. “Since beginning, we have seen positive regrowth of grasses, shrubs and aspen which are critical to the winter forage and habitat in this area for bighorn sheep, deer and elk.”

The Avalanche-Filoha prescribed burn project is part of a large-scale effort among partners to improve habitat for big game and other native wildlife across 45,000 acres on the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Other prescribed fire projects under this effort have occurred at Basalt Mountain, and are planned in the future near Cattle Creek, Collins Creek and Braderich Creek.

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