U.S. Forest Service announces successful test burns at Pawnee National Grassland | TheFencePost.com

U.S. Forest Service announces successful test burns at Pawnee National Grassland

Staff reports

A group a cattle gather around a water station while grazing inside the Pawnee National Grasslands this week. In Weld, the U.S. Forest Service doles out permits for just more than 190,000 acres of grazing land in the Pawnee National Grasslands on which ranchers graze roughly 8,000 cattle each year.

Firefighters completed a successful test burn on the prescribed fire on the Pawnee National Grassland, the U.S. Forest Service announced March 12.

Firefighters are continuing with ignitions to burn about 550 acres located on the east side of the grassland.

Burning could continue through March, as conditions allow, until the operation is complete, according to a Forest Service news release. Smoke may be visible from Colo. 14 and nearby communities.

The area planned for burning is located in the Simmons Allotment, northwest of New Raymer, about 3 miles north of Colo. 14.

Burning on the grasslands improves wildlife habitat, particularly for the Mountain Plover, reduces the risk of wildfire and helps reintroduce fire into the ecosystem. Ignition of the burn will only take place if soil moisture, weather, smoke dispersal and staffing conditions are favorable.

There will be a minimum of 16 to 24 firefighters working on the burn at any given time, including as many as six engines. Crews will continue to monitor the burn area until the fire is completely out.

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Prescribed burns will be announced on a recorded information line at (970) 498-1030. The public also may call the grassland office weekdays at (970) 346-5000 for additional information.

For daily email notifications, contact Reghan Cloudman at rcloudman@fs.fed.us.

-Staff reports