Friday, April 12

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Fire

The Indigenous role of fire

Using fire as a tool in land stewardship By Hillary Renick. Fire as a tool Fire, powerful and often feared, has been a fundamental part of the life of healthy forests throughout history.  Fire helps seeds germinate, aids in keeping meadows and grasslands balanced, and attracts healthy habitat for animals, insects and pollinators. Utilizing skills acquired by living in place for millennia and learning the rhythm of the seasons through observation, experimentation, and practice, Indigenous cultures use fire as a land management tool. By developing low-risk land management practices, Indigenous communities achieve the same effect as wildfire, but minimize the length of disruption...

Saving the greenbelts: fire or fire mitigation?

By Daniel S. Johnson, Saguache County Firewise Program. Do we save the greenbelts from fire or from fire mitigation? Firstly, I want to state that I am not working on the Baca Fire Department’s greenbelt or common lands mitigation, nor am I a spokesperson for them. My Firewise Program focuses on private lands to reduce wildfire threats to homes. But fighting wildfires has been my career for 49 years and I still do, so I can offer a valid assessment of the projects. There is no rational argument that most greenbelts are not overgrown and unhealthy. The original work on...

Megafires—bigger & more frequent; what can you do?

  What is a megafire? A megafire burns 100,000 acres or more. In 2008, there were an average of two 100,000-acre fires per year in the USA. In just 14 years, the likelihood of a megafire has increased ten-fold. The Yellowstone National Park fire of 1988 is often given as an example of one of the first megafires. One third of the Park burned. Because that fire burned over a million acres, it was technically a gigafire, also a size of fire becoming more common around the world. The Hermit Peak Fire in New Mexico is a megafire, having burned 336,638...

San Luis Valley Field Office to enter Stage 1 fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) San Luis Valley Field Office will enter into Stage 1 fire restrictions tomorrow, May 6, due to dry conditions and high fire danger. The fire restrictions apply to all BLM-administered public lands within the boundaries of Alamosa, Conejos, Saguache, Rio Grande, Mineral, and Costilla counties. “Gusty winds and low relative humidity have dried fuels in the San Luis Valley, priming them for ignition,” said San Luis Valley Field Manager Melissa Garcia. “In order to reduce the risk of wildfire ignition and loss of values at risk, Stage 1 fire restrictions that go into effect...

Prescribed Burning Planned At Great Sand Dunes National Park – November 8-12

As part of Great Sand Dunes National Park’s hazardous fuels reduction efforts, fire managers from the park in partnership with Rio Grande National Forest are preparing to conduct a prescribed burn on up to 3,300 acres near the park’s northern boundary. The project area is located south of Baca Grande Subdivision, and approximately three miles south of Crestone, Colorado. The fire operation will remain west of Liberty Road. Temporary closures along Liberty Road may occur during the operation to ensure public health and safety when firefighters are working along the road. The proposed burn window is November 8-12 if favorable...

Making a difference at Monarch Pass: Project salvages beetle-kill trees on steep slopes to reduce wildfire risk, protect water resources

While the Upper Arkansas Valley has received plenty of rain this summer, smoke in the air has served as a reminder that the threat of wildfire is never far away, a situation made more urgent by the brown forest of beetle-kill trees around Monarch Pass. Thanks to a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Forest Service and the Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative (ARWC), the threat of catastrophic wildfire is lessening around Monarch Pass.  With 90% of mature trees in the area killed by spruce beetles, the Monarch Pass Forest and Watershed Health Project is removing the dead trees to reduce...

Saving the greenbelts: fire or fire mitigation?

By Daniel S. Johnson, Saguache County Firewise Program. Do we save the greenbelts from...

Megafires—bigger & more frequent; what can you do?

  What is a megafire? A megafire burns 100,000 acres or more. In 2008, there...

San Luis Valley Field Office to enter Stage 1 fire restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) San Luis Valley Field Office will enter into...

Prescribed Burning Planned At Great Sand Dunes National Park – November 8-12

As part of Great Sand Dunes National Park’s hazardous fuels reduction efforts, fire managers...
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