Slash Pile Burning

The use of prescribed fire to remove fuel from the forest can be a cost effective option which contributes to forest health. In some hard to reach locations it becomes the only reasonable option.

The crew standards are very conservative and safety is our primary concern. We only burn with snow cover to ensure optimum conditions for control of the burn.

what to expect for the homeowner

There are a number of factors that go into our final decision to proceed with a pile burn.  We analyze the snow depth, temperature, wind direction, air quality, and the weather forecast over the coming days.

If we plan to go ahead with the burn, the crew will arrive between 8 & 10 am. We will check the unit, make a final onsite assessment, and proceed with the ignition of a test pile. If everything looks good we will proceed with the ignition of the rest of the piles.

Significant smoke and flame may be visible, especially for the first 2 hours of the burn operation. The crew will be onsite for the whole day and will not respond to other BMFPD emergency calls while they are managing the burn on your property.  We recommend that you close all the doors and windows to your home, and that you stay out of the burn area during the operation.  Without the proper training and personal protective equipment, the area is not a safe place for non-firefighters.

Our crew standards call for all the piles to be fully extinguished by the end of the day, unless we have specifically agreed with you to allow them to burn overnight to increase fuel consumption. By the time the crew leaves, between 3 & 5 pm, there should be no more smoke visible. However, the heat in the soil and rocks will continue to produce steam for hours.

A crew boss will return to check the piles for residual heat the following day, and if any heat or smoke is discovered he or she will return every 24 hrs until the piles are confirmed as cold.

Prior to the crew burning piles the homeowner must obtain a burn permit from Boulder County. The Mitigation Superintendent can help with this process if needed.