During 2014 and 2015 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been involved in fire mitigation efforts along North and South Crestone Creeks on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge (refuge). These efforts, which are designed to reduce wildfire risk and improve wildlife habitat, have resulted in the removal of large quantities of cottonwood deadfall from these important riparian areas. The removed deadfall has been stacked in several piles just outside of these riparian areas on the refuge.   USFWS is now planning on conducting prescribed burning of these piles. These prescribed burns will occur during the period of January 25 through March 18, 2016, and will be conducted by professional fire personnel from the San Luis Valley Interagency fire management team. Exact burn dates will depend on weather conditions and other prescription requirements.

Adjacent neighbors and towns should be aware of plumes of smoke temporarily generated as a result of this prescribed burning, and burn piles have the potential to smolder for several days. All burns will be monitored until they are declared completely out. Signs will be posted along the nearest major road (Saguache County Rd. T). Any neighbors or individuals that may require special consideration or assistance in the event that unplanned smoke issues arise are encouraged to call Refuge Manager, Ron Garcia at (719) 256-5527.

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

For additional information, contact the Baca National Wildlife Refuge at (719) 256-5527.