Changing Aspen Leaves - RMNP

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> News & Community Info > News Releases > Smoke Expected Near Horsetooth Mountain - Do Not Call 911

News Release

Smoke Expected Near Horsetooth Mountain - Do Not Call 911

Department: Natural Resources
Release Date: Feb 15, 2012

Contact Information:

Jeffrey Boring, Resource Specialist, (970) 679-4569,

Slash pile burns Photo: Meegan Flenniken

 The Larimer County Natural Resources Department, in partnership with the Emergency Services Department, will burn slash piles at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space on Thursday, February 16. All fires will be extinguished at the end of the day and firefighters will return to the site on Friday for site inspection. Piles near the towers will be targeted and all trails will remain open.  


The pile burns are part of an on-going wildfire mitigation/forest health project on parks and open space properties, involving mechanical thinning, hand piling tree limbs and pile burning. Dozens of large slash piles are located on Horsetooth Mountain from previous forest thinning efforts. Burning piles is the most cost effective method of reducing these visual impacts and improving plant diversity.  


To meet safety and regulatory requirements piles are burned after snow storms, when at least three inches of snow is on the ground. Additional weather conditions are required before pile burning takes place. Trained firefighters will conduct the burns in accordance to Larimer County Burn Permit Regulations. Smoke from the burning piles may be visible from Fort Collins, Loveland and along the Northern Front Range. Please do not call 911 or local law enforcement, as they are already aware of burns. 


These forest management projects are part of an on-going effort to:


1.      Reduce fuel loading to prevent catastrophic fires

2.      Remove trees damaged by insects and disease

3.      Restore forested areas to more natural and healthy forest conditions, improving wildlife habitat



To learn more about Larimer County’s parks and open spaces,

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Background Image: Changing Aspen Leaves in Rocky Mountain National Park by Jeremy Hollis. All rights reserved.