This summer, the veterans hand-thinned 27 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands that border Dalla Mountain Park northwest of Durango. They created 663 slash piles that needed to cure – or dry out – before being set ablaze.
The burning was done after a fresh snowfall to ensure the fires didn’t spread. The bonfires were invisible from town because of the snow and fog in the air….
Forest thinning around urban hubs creates a “defensible space,” which helps protect life and property from wildfire. It also is beneficial for the forest, [Shawna Legarza, fire-management officer with the San Juan Public Lands Center] said.
“This helps with protecting our community, so it’s a great thing to have happen,” she said. “And it’s even better using the veterans. They served our country, so we need to give them tools to come back into civilian life.”