Coal Creek Canyon residents should be aware that in the coming days, the National Forest Service is planning to start burning slash piles that have been created as part of their wildfire mitigation efforts. These burns will create a lot of smoke, and many of them will be very visible from a large portion of the Canyon. Below is the information we have received from them:

Firefighters plan to continue burning slash piles from multiple fuels reduction and hazardous tree removal projects on the Boulder Ranger District this week as conditions allow. Burning of these piles could take place throughout the upcoming snowy, winter months.

Piles are only ignited under certain conditions, including favorable smoke dispersal and adequate snow cover. These conditions direct firefighters on where within project areas burning can occur due to the localized nature of conditions. Smoke, flames, and glowing embers are often visible, and are a normal part of pile burning operations. This can be visible throughout the night. Moisture, namely snow, helps contain the piles and firefighters monitor the area during and after the burn. Monitoring continues until the piles are considered out. Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations.

Areas that could be burned next week as conditions allow include:

  • James Creek Unit M1701: 8,000 hand piles General Location: East of Hwy 72 near Peaceful Valley
  • Lump Gulch 18: 250 hand piles General Location: Gilpin County a half-mile north of Rollinsville on west of Hwy 119 Peak to Peak
  • Lump Gulch 29, 30: 150 hand piles General Location: Gilpin County west of Lump Gulch Road, 1.5 miles south of Rollinsville on west side of Hwy 119
  • Lump Gulch 35: 150 machine piles General Location: Gilpin County south of Gilpin Road, 3 miles south of Rollinsville on west of Hwy 119
  • Forsythe II Units 26, 27, 28: 75 Machine Piles General Location: 2 miles north of Rollinsville, just north of Shoshone Road
  • Forsythe II Units 6, 9, 11, 20, 102, 103: 2000 hand piles General Location: 2 miles east of Nederland, north of Magnolia Road, adjacent to FS Trail 606 and near the intersection of Magnolia Road and Lazy Z Road
  • Forsythe II Units 52, 53: 1,000 hand piles General Location: Approximately mile maker 4.5 of Magnolia Road, north of Magnolia Road off FSR 321.
  • Forsythe II Units 43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 68, 73: 2,000 piles General Location: 1.5 miles northwest of Wondervu, west of Gross Reservoir

Information for all pile burning this winter is posted online at Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see