Forest Service transforms how it will use, manage fires in Southwest Colorado

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Forest Service transforms how it will use, manage fires in Southwest Colorado

Agency to launch new plan for 80,000 acres from Vallecito to Piedra River
Hon Schlapfer, assistant fire management officer-fuels for the San Juan National Forest, faces an area in Fosset Gulch east of Bayfield that was subjected to a prescribed burn in 2016. On the other side of the road, the understory has not been thinned. The Forest Service is on the verge of finalizing a new management plan for 80,000 acres from Vallecito Reservoir to the Piedra River. The plan predetermines where prescribed burns, as well as naturally ignited fires, may benefit the forest and where forest managers don’t want to see fire, which would call for an all-out fight.

Forest Service transforms how it will use, manage fires in Southwest Colorado

Hon Schlapfer, assistant fire management officer-fuels for the San Juan National Forest, faces an area in Fosset Gulch east of Bayfield that was subjected to a prescribed burn in 2016. On the other side of the road, the understory has not been thinned. The Forest Service is on the verge of finalizing a new management plan for 80,000 acres from Vallecito Reservoir to the Piedra River. The plan predetermines where prescribed burns, as well as naturally ignited fires, may benefit the forest and where forest managers don’t want to see fire, which would call for an all-out fight.
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