PAGOSA SPRINGS - The Pagosa Ranger District is planning to burn approximately 1,000-1,500 acres in the Turkey Springs/Brockover Mesa area northwest of Pagosa Springs, CO. The burn units are located adjacent to the Turkey Springs (Forest Road 629), Newt Jack (Forest Road 923) and Brockover (Forest Road 919) roads. Several area trails will be closed for short periods during burn operations.  Operations may begin in mid-August and could continue through the end of October. The actual dates of operations will be dependent on weather and fuels conditions.

Ignition operations may take place over several days. The burn areas consists of ponderosa pine, Gambel oak and grass. All burn units have received previous fuels-reduction treatments, including thinning and mowing of brush and small trees. Some small piles of pine limbs and tops resulting from thinning operations will also be burned. This Turkey Springs/Brockover Mesa project expands upon prescribed burns which took place in August/September 2016. It is part of an overall fuels reduction project involving both mechanical treatment and prescribed fire covering approximately 5,000 acres.

Burning operations will be conducted by district personnel and other fire resources from the San Juan National Forest and cooperating agencies. The purpose is to reduce hazardous ground fuels, reduce the risk of unplanned catastrophic wildfire, restore ponderosa pine ecosystems and improve wildlife habitat. Ponderosa pine forests are a fire adapted ecosystem, which historically experienced frequent, low intensity fires on a large scale. Prescribed fire replicates that fire regime under controlled conditions. Prescribed fires will only be ignited when all weather, fuels and smoke requirements are met.

For additional information, please contact Fred Ellis, Assistant Fire Management Officer (Fuels), Pagosa Ranger District (970) 264-1541.