Controlled burn cleans up slash |

Controlled burn cleans up slash

FRISCO – The plume of smoke rising off Frisco’s Peninsula Recreation Area is the product of a controlled burn to clean up slash. Most of the slash going up in smoke, however, didn’t come from the peninsula.

According to Frisco Public Works employee Orson Orton, most of the lumber in the slash pile resulted from beetle kill.

Last fall, the Colorado State Forest Service conducted an in-the-field survey of mountain pine beetle infestations in Grand, Summit and Eagle counties.

The surveyors identified infected trees. Mountain pine beetles quickly spread, leaving dying red patches in pine forests. Towns or residents are responsible for removing the trees.

Public Works employee Jeff Shuey said some of the slash also came from the town’s skate park, which required clearing some trees to build.

“And it’s smoking pretty good because it’s still full of snow and dirt,” Shuey said.

The public works employees monitor the fire throughout the day (no one had yet brought them hot dogs or marshmallows Monday morning). Orton occasionally uses a front-end loader to stamp down the slash pile to keep the fire from growing too big and to add more slash. Shuey said they’ll use 600 to 700 gallons of water to extinguish the pile when the timber is consumed.

Fire officials hope Summit County residents have slash burned by the end of this month. Fire restrictions may yet be enacted as the dry, early months of summer approach. For more information about fire protection for homeowners, contact Summit County Wildland Fire Mitigation Officer Patti Maguire at (970) 513-4237.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or

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