Forest Service plans 90-acre burn south of Chimney Rock

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest plans a prescribed burn of 90 acres this week on the south side of the Chimney Rock National Monument rock spires 17 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs.

Ignition is expected to begin in late morning today. Significant rain could delay the burning until later in the week.

The prescribed burn will be conducted by 20 to 25 crew members. Chimney Rock National Monument doesn’t open until May 15, so the burning will not affect visitors.

Smoke will be visible from U.S. Highway 160, Colorado Highway 151 and the Arboles, Aspen Springs and Elk Park areas. Some smoke may settle overnight in the Stollsteimer Creek and Piedra River areas.

Because fuel in the burn area was reduced in 2009, the Forest Service expects the smoke from this burn may be less than usual.

Information about the burning is available at the Pagosa Ranger District office, 180 Pagosa St. in Pagosa Springs or at 264-2268.