The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, in coordination with The Nature Conservancy, is planning to implement prescribed burns at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, Reservoir Ridge Natural Area and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area this spring. As fuel and weather conditions allow, the prescribed burns will occur between April 7 and May 15, though conditions may dictate scheduling changes. The natural area will be closed the day of the burn. Updates will be posted on the Natural Areas trail conditions page, http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/status.php
Smoke advisory signs will be posted along roads, trails, entrance stations, and parking lots where appropriate. A Natural Areas Department representative will inform visitors of the prescribed fire and closures. Staff will closely monitor smoke dispersal to avoid impacts to motorists and residents. To mitigate concerns, the Natural Areas Department will only burn under advantageous conditions.
The Natural Areas Department conducts prescribed fires to achieve four primary objectives; 1) reduce hazardous fuel buildup, 2) to improve weed control and restoration of native flora, 3) create the habitat structure required by target wildlife species, and 4) to maintain the role of fire as a natural disturbance. The use of fire as a management tool is an integral element of restoring the function of grasslands.
Concerns or questions regarding prescribed fire can be directed to Garrett Paul, Fire Technician at
(970) 219-6643 or the Natural Areas Department at (970) 416-2185.