Slash is a problematic component of forest mitigation. The Boulder Ranger District of the US Forest Service has built tens of thousands of slash piles within USFS lands primarily to the west of Coal Creek Canyon over the past several summers. Already this winter, they have been actively burning slash piles in the Forsythe Canyon area west of Gross Reservoir. There are also numerous slash piles north of Highway 72 in the area of the switchbacks west of Wondervu that the USFS is planning to burn this winter (see map below).
Strict criteria detailed in a burn plan has to be met in order for these piles to be burned; including smoke dispersal conditions, snow or other precipitation in the burn area, adequate staffing, and fuel moisture. All pile burns are conducted within the requirements of a smoke permit issued by the state of Colorado. The burn plan is thoroughly reviewed before implementation.
As part of the burn plan, the USFS will notify Coal Creek Canyon Fire on the dates that they intend to burn. They will also place signs on Highway 72 on the dates when they are burning notifying residents and commuters of smoke in the area.
Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
A complete list of areas where pile burning could occur on the Boulder Ranger District this season is located at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4648/.