A prescribed burn in the Boggy Draw area north of Dolores on Saturday had to be suspended because rain showers dampened fuels, according to the San Juan National Forest.
Prior to the rain, crews burned 70 acres of the planned 946-acre burn unit, located along Forest Road 527, about 8 miles north of town.
The prescribed burn continued Sunday with hand and aerial ignitions. Forest officials reported “optimal conditions for a low intensity burn,” according to a Facebook post from the San Juan National Forest.
Fire crews planned to burn about 571 acres Sunday at the Boggy Draw unit.
On Friday, fire crews completed the 1,162-acre prescribed burn on Haycamp Mesa. The burn was kept under control and within the unit, according to a San Juan National Forest Facebook post.
The Haycamp prescribed burn area also received rain Saturday, and it is being patrolled and monitored while the Boggy Draw burn takes place.
The Haycamp Mesa prescribed burn unit is located along Forest Roads 556 and 390, about 10 miles east of Dolores.
Burning operations began with hand ignition operations on the perimeter of the burn unit. Once the perimeter was secured, aerial ignitions were used to light the interior of the unit.
“The Haycamp Mesa burn area is at a higher elevation, where the vegetation is not as dry, and temperatures are cooler than the surrounding lower areas that are under Red Flag Warning conditions,” according to a Facebook post Friday from the San Juan National Forest Service.
Smoke from the Boggy Draw prescribed burn may be visible from highways 145, 184, 491 and the surrounding communities of Dolores, Mancos and Cortez.
There are two operational smoke monitor devices located in Dolores and Mancos to monitor smoke levels. These monitors are required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment smoke permitting process.
According to forest officials, the prescribed burns are conducted to reintroduce fire into the ponderosa pine ecosystem, which reduces hazardous fuels, lessens the risk of unplanned large wildfires and improves wildlife habitat.
For more information about the prescribed burning on the San Juan National Forest, visit InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6288/