Fire crews starting operations to expand small fire in HD Mountains

Pre-firing operations are starting Wednesday in the HD Mountains to expand the 842 Fire. The fire was caused by lightning and has burned about 13 acres. Expanding the fire will provide beneficial aspects for the mountain forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Enlarge photo

Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Pre-firing operations are starting Wednesday in the HD Mountains to expand the 842 Fire. The fire was caused by lightning and has burned about 13 acres. Expanding the fire will provide beneficial aspects for the mountain forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Firing operations are tentatively planned for Wednesday to expand the perimeter of a small lightning-caused wildfire in the HD Mountains to improve forest health and reduce future wildfire danger. The 842 Fire, now at 13 acres, is smoldering and creeping on the surface about 13 miles southeast of Bayfield between the Turkey Creek and Bull Creek drainages.

“Firefighters will be using drip torches, working to expand the perimeter of the fire within the predetermined containment lines,” said Lance Martin, the incident commander. “Exact timing of the firing operations will depend upon weather conditions and fuel moistures.”

Fire crews onsite include a Type II initial attack crew from Wyoming and local crews from the U.S. Forest Service, Upper Pine Fire District and Durango Fire Department. After firing operations take place, smoke may settle overnight to the south along the Piedra River and Colorado Highway 151.

The firing operations will be used to guide the fire’s growth away from populated areas so it can play its natural role in the forest. Existing roads, trails and natural barriers will be used as containment lines instead of building fire breaks. Crews will do this to minimize any impacts to remote archaeological sites.

For more information, contact the Columbine District Office at 884-2512.

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