Each winter, Larimer County burns slash piles to improve forest health and reduce the threat of wildfire. These burns meet state and local fire regulations.
Properties that may see slash pile burns this winter include Hermit Park Open Space, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space and Pinewood Reservoir County Park.
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Slash piles are branches and other small diameter wood produced during forest thinning operations.
“It’s good forest management to thin dense stands of trees,” said Jeffrey Boring, resource specialist with Larimer County Department of Natural Resources. “It reduces wildfire threats and improves wildlife habitat.” But thinning creates a lot of slash and the most practical way of managing slash piles is to burn them.
To meet safety and regulatory requirements, slash piles are burned after snow storms, when there is at least 3 inches of snow on the ground. Larimer County’s Natural Resources and Emergency Services departments will continue to monitor weather conditions and plan pile burns accordingly.
“We’re ready to go, but we’re waiting on Mother Nature to give us the green light,” Boring said.
The public should expect to see smoke from slash pile burns following snow events. If people see smoke from the fires, they are asked not to call 911 or local law enforcement, as they are already aware of these burns.
Any trail closures will be posted at the park or open space trailhead.
To learn more about Larimer County’s parks and open spaces, visit our website at www.larimer.org/naturalresources.