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Long Draw Fire Shows Good Results

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Dennis Skley
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Creative Commons

No adverse effects were noted from the Long Draw Fire in Dolores County near Lone Mesa State Park. Dolores District Ranger Derek Padilla and fire management officer Patrick Seekins told the Montezuma County commissioners Monday the lightning-sparked blaze is believed to be out except for occasional wisps of smoke. After it was reported June 21st at about 8,200 feet in elevation, the fire was managed and monitored by the Forest Service but allowed to burn to clear out forest litter and Gambel oak. Firefighters dropped glycol-filled plastic spheres – about the size of ping-pong balls - from a helicopter to ignite the fire’s interior, a method considered safer than employing personnel on the ground with drip torches. About 2,100 acres was burned altogether. Padilla said taking advantage of a naturally ignited fire is cheaper for the agency than a prescribed burn and doesn’t require time-consuming environmental studies.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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