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News Archive

October 29, 2015

Media Contact

Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Prescribed burn completed at Heil Valley Ranch

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Oct. 29, 2015

Media Contact: Erin
Hartnett
, Parks & Open Space Ranger, 303-678-6211

Boulder County, Colo. -- The Overlook
prescribed burn at Heil Valley Ranch has been completed and the park is now
open. Smoke and flames will be visible within the burn area for the next
few days as logs, stumps and other vegetation continue to burn and smolder.
This is an expected and important part of a prescribed burn and is necessary to
reach fuel consumption goals.

The burn
area will be closed to the public until it is deemed safe to reopen by fire
personnel. Crews will remain on site monitoring until the fire is determined to be out, or is
confirmed as being controlled by significant weather conditions.

Overview:

  • On Oct. 28, the
    Boulder County Fire Management Program and Boulder County Parks and Open Space
    safely and effectively reintroduced prescribed fire to approximately 22 acres
    of a ponderosa/grass ecosystem at Heil Valley Ranch.
  • Approximately 70
    firefighters from 15 local fire protection districts and agencies provided
    resources for the project.
  • All fire was contained
    within the burn unit perimeter and the fire’s edge has been secured.

The goal of this project
was to reduce forest understory fuels to help decrease the occurrence and
impact from large uncharacteristic wildfires.

View of burn zone with firefighters watching

Prescribed burn at Hall Ranch officially deemed
complete

On Oct. 27, Boulder County
wildland firefighters conducted a final check of the Nighthawk prescribed burn
area at Hall Ranch. No smoke, flames or areas still holding heat were located
and the fire was officially called out. The Nighthawk Trail is open with on-trail
use only through the burn area due to hazardous conditions.

Accomplishments:

  • Fire
    was introduced to at least 75% of the burn unit in a mosaic pattern.
  • To
    help decrease the occurrence and impact from large uncharacteristic wildfires,
    the forest understory fuels were reduced by up to 75%
  • The
    fire intensity was high enough to remove all surface vegetation down to mineral
    soil on up to 25% of the unit, creating conditions able to support natural
    ponderosa pine regeneration.
  • Post
    fire monitoring will continue and a report will be available for the public to
    view when completed.

The final project scheduled for
this fall, the Wapiti 2 prescribed burn, is postponed until a later date. The
goal is to complete the 270-acre burn by the end of spring 2016.

For more information, go to www.bouldercounty.org/open-space/management/prescribed-burns/ or
call 303-678-6211.