Prescribed fires planned for the Dolores Ranger District

Hide Featured Image

DOLORES, Colo., May 12, 2023—The San Juan National Forest’s Dolores Ranger District is planning to conduct several prescribed burns starting in May. Burning operations will take place over multiple days when weather and fuel conditions are favorable and may continue throughout the summer and into fall based on conditions. Both hand and aerial ignition methods may be utilized, following the weather, fuel and smoke parameters stated in the prescribed fire plan. Burning operations will be conducted by U.S. Forest Service personnel assisted by fire resources from cooperating agencies.

Project areas identified for burn implementation are:

  • Haycamp Mesa: 10,658 acres located 10 miles east of Dolores, along the Haycamp Mesa Road, Forest Service Road (NFSR) 556 – Haycamp Mesa Units 1-7, and 9.
  • Boggy Draw: 10,082 acres located 3 to 15 miles northeast of Dolores, along the Dolores-Norwood Road near Little Bean Canyon, Boggy Draw Road NFSR 527, and Cottonwood Canyon Road NFSR 532 – Boggy Draw Units 17, 18, 20, 29-33, 45, 48, 50, 51 and 53.
  • Salter: 5,379 acres located 7 to 15 miles east of Cahone, near Salter Y and Ormiston Point Road NFSR 521 – Salter Units 26-28, 30-33, 39, 41, 43, 44, and 47.

Reintroduction of prescribed fire is necessary to improve and restore vegetative conditions. This effort will reduce hazardous ground fuels, lessen the risk of unplanned large-scale wildfire, help restore ponderosa pine ecosystems, and improve wildlife habitat. Prescribed fire also reduces the ladder fuels that can carry fire into the canopy, killing mature trees.

During burning operations, smoke may be visible around Mancos, Dolores, Dove Creek, Cortez, and HWY 491 between Dove Creek and Pleasant View. Smoke may settle into low lying valleys and the Dolores River Canyon overnight. Smoke monitoring will be conducted and ignitions will be scheduled to minimize smoke impacts to communities. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. More information can be found online.

Maps of the prescribed burn units and additional San Juan National Forest prescribed fire program news can be found on InciWeb. For more information, please contact Fire Management Officer Matthew Traynham, by email at or by phone at (970) 882-6837.

Dolores RD Planned Prescribed Fires map

For information on current conditions and recreation opportunities on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874, visit the forest website, or follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.