Craig briefs: Fire crews beginning pile burning at area national forests |

Craig briefs: Fire crews beginning pile burning at area national forests

With the onset of fall weather and snow in the mountains, fire crews are beginning to burn slash piles at multiple locations across the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests in Colorado and Wyoming, according to a press release.

It is estimated that thousands of piles remain on the two National Forests, even after multiple years of this type of work. Forest users and the public should be aware of and expect to see smoke, as many piles will be burned near communities and popular recreation areas. Questions should be directed to your local Ranger District Office.

“Our annual program of work now includes burning slash piles,” Vern Bentley, fire management officer for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, said in a statement. “We anticipate removing fuels by burning piles for years to come, and our crews are well trained in this type of work.”

Throughout the past few years, the two forests have completed many forest management projects, including removing dead trees from travel corridors and recreation areas, as well as reducing hazardous fuels generated from the bark beetle epidemic. Fuels remaining in these areas have been gathered into piles, either mechanically or by hand. The main objective of the pile burns is to reduce the remaining dead fuels, which is in the best interest of long-term public safety.

Recent periods of wet, cool weather have prompted crews to begin preparations for burning piles. While conditions in some locations are currently favorable, fire managers will continue to monitor weather forecasts prior to igniting piles. Burns are only initiated if conditions are within established parameters for safe, effective fires. Predicted weather needs to allow for safe burning and the elimination of any threat of fire spreading to surrounding vegetation. Pile burning will continue all fall and winter, as long as weather permits.

For more information, contact the following Forest Service Offices, visit or follow the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland on Twitter @MBRNFsTBNG.

Contact information

■ Forest Supervisor’s Office, 2468 Jackson St., Laramie, Wyoming, 307-745-2300

■ Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District, 2171 Highway 130, Saratoga, Wyoming, 307-326-5258

■ Douglas Ranger District, 2250 E. Richards St., Douglas, Wyoming, 307-358-4690

■ Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District, 925 Weiss Drive, Steamboat Springs, 970-870-2299

■ Laramie Ranger District, 2468 Jackson St,, Laramie, Wyoming, 307-745-2300

■ Parks Ranger District, 100 Main St., Walden, 970-723-2700

■ Yampa Ranger District, 300 Roselawn Ave., Yampa, 970-638-4516

Elementary PAC coffee fundraiser starts today

This year’s coffee sponsor for the Ridgeview Elementary Parent Association Committee is Colorado’s own Boyer’s Coffee. Students will sell the coffee from today through Oct. 17. All funds go back to the students in the form of classroom items needed; math, music and art programs; and family involvement nights like Science Night. Expected delivery date of the coffee is Nov. 12, just in time for the holidays. If you have questions, email PAC coordinator Mindy Baker at

Driving under effects of marijuana is illegal

As new laws based on Amendment 64 continue to regulate recreational marijuana, the Colorado State Patrol reminds motorists that driving while impaired by marijuana is illegal.

Recent changes, which loosen rules governing the purchase, possession and consumption of marijuana by adults who are 21 and older, do not mitigate the responsibility to drive sober at all times.

All CSP troopers are trained in the detection of impairment from alcohol, drugs and other substances. Also, many troopers have received additional training as certified drug recognition experts. During the course of a traffic contact, any driver suspected of driving while impaired by marijuana may be asked to complete voluntary roadside maneuvers and submit to a chemical test. Refusal of a chemical test results in stricter penalties than compliance.

Troopers actively will seek and arrest impaired drivers. The increased vigilance leading into 2014 underscores the agency’s ongoing commitment to combating impaired driving through intelligence-led enforcement strategies across the state.

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