In order to improve forest health and habitat for wildlife, a coalition of outdoor organizations is planning a prescribed fire in Hunter Creek. It's a popular recreation area near Aspen.
Barring bad weather and safety concerns, the burn will be done in spring of 2016. It’ll happen on Forest Service land on north side of the Hunter Creek Valley, near the “lower plunge trail” and “hummingbird traverse.” The historic buildings on the valley floor won’t be in the burn area.
The idea is to promote new growth of trees and shrubs following the fire, that increase food supply for animals like elk and bears. Kate Jermain is with the White River National Forest.
"It’ll also help us manage for a more diverse and healthy forest. It’ll reduce the accumulation of natural fuels, improve the health of vegetation. Additionally, the reduction of fuel accumulation helps to prevent catastrophic wildfires in the future," she says.
The other groups behind the prescribed fire are the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Pitkin County, the Aspen Fire Department, Wilderness Workshop and the City of Aspen.