Prescribed burns at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area this fall

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, in coordination with The Nature Conservancy, will be conducting several prescribed fires at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area this fall and winter.

The Natural Areas Department conducts prescribed burns to accomplish a variety of management goals. Depending on the site and the specific project, prescribed burning may be used to reduce weedy vegetation, improve plant community composition for habitat goals, or reduce the presence of hazardous fuels.

This season’s efforts will focus on improving habitat for migrating birds and rare plants. Additionally, burning will help to diversify the grassland habitat promoting native grasses such as buffalo grass and blue grama which are adapted to fire and respond well to conditions created following a fire.

The natural area may be closed on the day of the burn, or trail closures may be in effect- check for closure information. Smoke advisory signs will be posted along roads, trails, entrance station and parking lots. A Natural Areas Department representative will inform visitors of the prescribed fire and closures. Officials will closely monitor smoke dispersal to avoid impacts to motorists and residents. To mitigate concerns, the Natural Areas Department will burn only under conditions that promote good smoke dispersal.

Concerns or questions regarding this burn can be directed to Rick Bachand, Environmental Program Manager at 970-416-2183, or the Natural Areas Department at 970-416-2815.

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