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The original item was published from 2/2/2021 3:24:32 PM to 2/3/2022 12:00:02 AM.

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Open Space & Trails

Posted on: February 2, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Prescribed Pile Burning at Wildernest-Mesa Cortina Open Space Concluded for the ‘20-‘21 Season

Pile-Burn at Mesa Cortina

Contact: Jordan Mead, Resource Specialist, Summit County Open Space and Trails Department

SUMMIT COUNTY – Following successful burn operations in mid-December, Summit County Open Space and Trails, along with the Forest Stewards Guild has concluded burn operations at the Mesa Cortina-Wildernest Open Space for the 2020-2021 winter season.

“We received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from community members during the first round of pile burning in mid-December,” says Jordan Mead, resource specialist.

Due to the amount of snow that has built up on the remaining piles, it will not be possible to complete burning of the remaining piles this winter season. During the burn operations in December, crew sizes were limited by COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings and short-term rentals, which slowed the pace of operations. Coupled with unfavorable wind and smoke dispersal rates in late December and early January, the opportunity to burn the remaining piles did not present itself. 

“Now that the piles have up to 2 feet of snow on and around them the consumption rate would be significantly reduced compared to earlier in the season,” Mead stated. “More snow can lead to larger amounts of smoke, as well. In an effort to minimize smoke impacts and make operations efficient we have decided to postpone the remaining piles to the early parts of next winter.”

This project is funded by the Strong Futures Fund, which dedicates $1M annually for wildfire mitigation strategies including fuels reduction, wildfire education, and fire protection equipment. For more information please visit

Thank you for your support of Summit County’s ongoing commitment to community safety, hazardous fuels reduction, and forest health management.

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