Upcoming Events 

View Full Calendar


Colorado Wildfire Conference
Sept.18 – 20, 2018
Crested Butte map


Fire Council Mtg.
Tue, Sept. 25, 4:30pm – 7:00pm
San Juan Public Lands Center
15 Burnett Ct, Durango


Missionary Ridge Fire 2002Fire Mtigation work
Firewise Southwest Colorado at the Durango Farmer's Market

Cooperative Prescribed Burning on Private Lands

In our unending efforts to provide more opportunities for residents to reduce their wildfire risk, FireWise helped coordinate to achieve between 150 and 200 hand piles ignited on February 15th on 23 and 18-acre

projects on private land north of Dolores. Bruce Short (Shorth Forestry LLC) led the effort under a private contract as burn boss.  The big achievements included getting our private burn boss, FireWise staff, Cortez Fire, Dolores Fire, USFS, and BLM folks all out at the same time.

Lessons Learned

  • Gambel oak takes more than one dry season to cure.
  • Sometimes bigger piles are better, but special attention to pile location and construction is important.
  • Don't pile (or let the contractor) pile slash on dead and down logs or stumps.
  • Facebook can have fires too. Provide detailed info to neighbors about what to expect during ignition and in terms of smoke if you're piles won't be cold out by sundown such a smoldering within the project site.
  • It takes a lot of work to coordinate a multi-agency burn, and you can't skimp on the burn plan and smoke permitting.

FireWise now has several people who have been through the Colorado Certified Burn Boss training. We are available to answer your questions and direct you to the right places to do your burning right... though with the current weather patterns, you may be leaning to Fall/Winter 2018/2019 for any burning other than piles in a big open area with direct water resources.