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News Release

Smoke Expected Near Hermit Park - Do Not Call 911

Department: Natural Resources
Release Date: Apr 23, 2013

Contact Information:

Jeffrey Boring, Resource Specialist, (970) 679-4569,

 Snow continues to fall in Larimer County allowing land managers a late season opportunity to wrap up slash burning near Estes Park. Larimer County staff will burn slash piles at Hermit Park Open Space, southeast of Estes Park, on Tuesday, April 22, 2013 and will continue as long as conditions allow.

In the fall of 2012, over 200 slash piles at Hermit Park Open Space were targeted for burning. Although the pile burning season started slowly in December/January with little snow accumulation in Estes Park, the past three weeks have seen an unprecedented amount of burning. In April alone, approximately 300 piles have been burned at Hermit Park, eclipsing the target for the year and the entire number of piles burned since Larimer County acquired Hermit Park in 2007.  
“In March we were kind of hanging our heads low, thinking we got outsmarted by Mother Nature once again. All of a sudden the weather changed and we’ve made a spectacular improvement in the reduction of piles,” said Jeffrey Boring, Resource Specialist with Larimer County’s Natural Resources Department. Boring said land managers expect to burn the last remaining piles at Hermit on Tuesday. “If we’re able to burn on Tuesday, I believe there won’t be a single remaining slash pile at Hermit Park,” Boring continued.  
Burning piles is part of an on-going wildfire mitigation/forest health project on Larimer County parks and open space properties, involving mechanical thinning, hand piling tree limbs and pile burning.
Burning slash piles is part of a forest management effort to:
1.      Reduce fuel loading to decrease the likelihood of catastrophic fires
2.      Remove trees damaged by insects and disease
3.      Restore forested areas to a healthier condition, improving wildlife habitat
To meet safety and regulatory requirements piles are burned after snow storms, when at least three inches of snow is on the ground. Please do not call 911 or local law enforcement, as they are already aware of these burns. 
To learn more about Larimer County’s parks and open spaces,
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