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High-altitude prescribed burn near Aspen, Colorado planned for Friday

The burn site still has readily available snow and moisture due to elevation, unlike lower elevations
A firefighter oversees a prescribed burn in Olathe, Kansas.
A firefighter oversees a prescribed burn in Olathe, Kansas.(Tyler Silvest / CC BY 2.0)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 2:52 PM MDT
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PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. (KJCT) - The Aspen Fire Department and the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit announced Thursday that a prescribed burn will be ignited the following day two miles northeast of Aspen, Colorado. Firefighters plan to burn up to 1,200 acres on White River National Forest to reduce fuel buildup in the forest’s understory.

Fire managers expect fire conditions on Friday to be low enough to perform the prescribed burn safely. “We are monitoring the conditions on the ground along with site-specific weather forecasts very carefully, “said Dan Nielsen, Central Zone Prescribed Fire and Fuels Specialist for the White River National Forest.

While conditions in low elevations are far too windy, dry, and volatile to be burned safely, the burn site is above 7,500 feet and is still bordered by snow. Firefighters plan to ignite small, manageable sections from a helicopter, while firefighters on the ground plan to corral the fire within the planned perimeter and prevent it from getting out of control. Smoke may be visible, and may become more visible in the afternoon.

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