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Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), in cooperation with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, will conduct slash pile burning operations in the Rio Grande State Wildlife Area during the winter months of 2022-23, as weather conditions permit.

Slash piles prepared for burning in the Rio Grande State Wildlife Area. Courtesy photo

Slash piles have been created to remove debris and reduce hazardous fuel accumulation to help reduce the risk of larger wildfires. The piles are burned in areas where other means of disposal are not feasible.

Smoke may be visible in the area and could persist for several days as fuels burn themselves out. Crews will be on the scene to monitor the progress throughout the process. The public is reminded not to call 911 or other emergency services if smoke is visible from the burn areas.

CPW works closely with agencies such as the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division, Division of Fire Prevention and Control and local authorities in developing and implementing any burning project.

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. Additional information is available at

For more information, contact CPW District Wildlife Manager Tyler Cerny at 719-850-6363 or

Rio Grande State Wildlife Area is a 935-acre property in Rio Grande County that offers good fishing and hunting opportunities. It is closed to public access from Feb. 15 through July 15 to protect nesting and wintering bird populations.