Don't Call 911 if you see smoke at Hermit Park Open Space, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, or Carter Lake County Park
Department: Natural Resources
Release Date: Feb 25, 2013
Jeffrey Boring, Resource Specialist, 970-679-4569, firstname.lastname@example.org
The largest snow event of the year has jump started slash pile burning at Larimer County open spaces. On Sunday, February 24, 2013, over 10 inches of snow fell in Loveland, and over 3 inches fell in Fort Collins and Estes Park. This was more snow than either of these cities have received in months. “We all know how critical winter moisture is for regional reservoirs and local streams and rivers, but it’s also important for our forests,” said Jeffrey Boring, Resource Specialist with the Larimer County Natural Resources Department. “Colorado’s forests have adapted to a dry climate, but they still rely on snow to increase soil moisture and improve forest health.”
First on the list of Larimer County properties scheduled for slash pile burning is Hermit Park Open Space, near Estes Park. Larimer County staff began burning piles Monday morning and by 2 PM had burned 10 piles. Pile burning will continue throughout the week at Hermit Park and Horsetooth Mountain open spaces and Carter Lake County Park, if weather allows. On Monday, as the temperature rose and snow cover began to thin, Larimer County staff stopped burning piles. A minimum of three inches of snow cover and less than 10 mph winds are needed to burn slash piles.
“Our pile burning plans are fluid, they’re based primarily on weather conditions and staff availability,” Boring said. “With cooperative weather and adequate staff, we can burn 50 piles a day; on a day like Monday when barely enough snow falls (in Estes Park) and temperatures rise fast, we may only to get to a few piles.”
Safety is the highest priority when it comes to pile burning and Larimer County follows local, County, and State restrictions. Boring said all necessary permits have been secured to burn at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, Carter Lake County Park, and Hermit Park Open Space, but the County continues to monitor the weather throughout the day. A slight change in the weather, like the wind picking up can shut the project down.
Larimer County hopes for more snow Tuesday. “If we get another sizable snow event and it stays cold for a few days, we should be able to burn close to a hundred piles,” said Boring. “The recreation season is around the corner and removing these piles will be noticed and appreciated by our spring and summer trail users.”
To learn more about Larimer County’s parks and open spaces,
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