Pawnee National Grassland plans prescribed burn

By  | 

Ault, Colo. - The U.S. Forest Service is planning to burn approximately 705 acres on the west side of the Pawnee National Grassland in early spring.

Burning could begin as soon as March 2 and continue through March until the burn is complete if conditions allow. Burning is anticipated to take one day. Smoke will likely be visible from Highway 14 and nearby communities.

The area planned for burning is located in the Hawk and Murphy Grazing Allotments, approximately two miles west of Briggsdale, Colo., on the north side of Highway 14.

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

A minimum of 20 firefighters are expected to work on the burn, including up to six engines. Forest Service firefighters have been coordinating with local fire departments. Crews will continue to monitor the burn area until the fire is completely out.

Prescribed fires on the Pawnee National Grassland will be announced on a recorded information line at 970-498-1030. The public can also call the grassland office weekdays at 970-834-9270 for additional information. Information on this prescribed fire is also available online at If anyone would like to receive daily email notifications during the burn, please contact Reghan Cloudman at

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see