Coal Creek Fire Management Unveils Plans

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

The coal Creek Fire has been burning for over a week now and fire officials say they plan to let it burn throughout the season.
Fire management teams are hoping to direct this fire into areas where planned burns were already scheduled.

Helicopters hit hot spots along the coal creek fire.
Incident Commander for the Rocky Mountain Management Team, Bill Hahnenberg, says, "It's a good location conditions are good to achieve resources benefits."
Trees burst into bright shades of red sending smoke high into the evening sky but with this fire, officials are pleased to see the flames.
"We're really happy with having the fire in the Kannah Creek Basin. we had planned quite a bit of project work there," says Connie Clementson, District Ranger with the Grand Valley Ranger District.

But with fire comes smoke, and a lots of it.
"I think the short term benefits of dealing with our smoke from this fire really outweighs the long term impacts we might see from a longer more catastrophic type of event," says Clementson.

Hahnenberg says, "It's expensive and more over its dangerous for fire fighters to try and deal with a fire in this kind of terrain."
The fire will remove excess fuel build up from years when no fires burned. Officials say letting nature take its course, with just a little help from fire crews is the goal.
Hahnenberg says, "we don't just let the fire burn we manage it with helicopters and aviation."
The National Fire Use Team watching the fire consists of two hot shot crews; one from Craig and one from Wyoming, as well as two helicopters.

Fire management says this fire could burn into September saving fire officials valuable time and money from doing it themselves. Fire officials are also keeping an eye on the clover fire near collbran, it's burned about 150 acres so far.

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