The Dominguez Fire burning just north of Dominguez Canyon is now burning on about 1200 acres. Crews are letting it burn but say it’s for the better.
The fire will naturally clear out old brush and timber and because they aren’t trying to put it out it is actually saving money, “Fire use fires are typically very cost effective compared to suppression fires because the whole mode in suppression fire is put it out and it takes a lot of resources sometimes to do that. So a fire use fire, typically we use less people and fewer resources to manage the fire because we are being strategic about where the fire can and can not go,” says Connie Clementson, US Forest Service Grand Valley District Ranger.
While they are letting the Dominguez fire burn, there are still areas that crews are working to protect, “We are taking suppression actions on the south side of the fire where it would be bumping down into Dominguez Canyon. We want to protect some of the resources and timber in the bottom of the canyon,” says Sam Dearstyne of the Unaweep Fire Use Module.
Local US Forest Service Officials are hoping the fire will continue to burn into areas that they were already planning on doing prescribed burns, which will also save some money. And as of now they like where the fire is heading, “The fire is doing everything that we want it to do, we are managing it for resource benefit and we are happy with the results we see so farm” says Clementson.
Crews will continue to watch the fire and let it take its natural course. At this point officials aren't sure how long it will take to burn out.
The fire isn’t threatening any structures and is burning in a pretty remote area. Currently there are around 37 people watching this fire, they are part of the Craig Hotshots, Unaweep Fire Use Module, and US Forest Service Fuels Module. Letting the fire burn is also making room for new life to grow, officials say grasses will start growing back in the area within a year.