Pawnee National Grassland prescribed burn planned

The U.S. Forest Service is planning to burn approximately 600 acres on the Pawnee National Grassland starting as soon as the week of March 12, but may be later in March, and could continue until all 600 acres are burned. Smoke may be visible from Highway 14 and nearby communities.

The burn is part of an effort to promote diversity in vegetation, reduce broom snakeweed, manage vegetation to provide for wildlife habitat, and mimic historically natural fire disturbance.

The Pawnee Prescribed Burn is planned for the Vivian allotment. This unit is north of Highway 14 on the west side of the grassland.

The burn will take place only if conditions are favorable. These include soil moisture, weather, smoke dispersal and staffing. A minimum of 16 to 22 firefighters are expected to work on the burn, including three to six fire engines. Crews will continue to monitor the burn area until the fire is completely out.

Prescribed fires on the Pawnee National Grassland will be announced on a recorded incident information line at 970-498-1030. The public can also call the Pawnee National Grassland office weekdays at 970-346-5000 for additional information. If anyone in the area has smoke concerns and would like to receive daily email notifications about the burn, please call Reghan Cloudman at 970-295-6770.

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