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Open House on Hunter Creek prescribed fires takes place tonight

Mar 31, 2016

A prescribed burn in Basalt last year
Credit Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

A prescribed burn is tentatively scheduled to take place later this month in the Hunter Creek Valley.

Details of the fire will be presented to the public tonight from 4 to 6 during an open house.

Convincing the public that fires can be a good thing because they help rejuvenate natural landscapes is often a difficult task. A prescribed burn is needed on about 1,100 acres on the south facing slopes near the Hummingbird Traverse in the Hunter Creek Valley, according to Jamie Werner, the forest programs director as  Aspen Center for Environmental Studies ( ACES).

“I think it’s important to approach prescribed fire as a manageable alternative to the inevitable wildfire,” Werner said. “We’re taking control of this tool, and fire really is a tool, and putting it on the ground in a way that is manageable.”

Werner says conditions like snowfall and wind will have to be ideal for the burn to take place in order to make sure it’s effective and smoke is not traveling into town during the burn.

ACES, Aspen Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, Pitkin County, City of Aspen and the Wilderness Workshop, have been planning this fire for the last year and a half. The meeting tonight will be held at the fire station on Hopkins Avenue. Representatives from all of the organizations involved will be there to answer questions.