Recently fallen snow and afternoon gusts made Tuesdays conditions perfect for Scott Dehnisch and others from the Columbine Ranger District, along with a group of San Juan Interagency Hotshot Crew firefighters to burn slash piles left over from a summer thinning program in Dalla Mountain Park.
Dehnisch said the eight-man crew would burn about 10 percent of about 650 piles. Snow would help keep surrounding beds of pine needles from drying out and spreading fire, while afternoon gusts were expected to carry smoke to higher altitudes and out of the area so nighttime inversions would not settle the smoke around nearby homes.
Everything goes through a smoke-management process, said Dehnisch.
Permits for the burns are approved or denied on a daily basis through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment using local weather kits in conjunction with Grand Junction data.