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Pine Ridge Fire Burn Area Reopens

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Updated: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:17:59 MST

DEBEQUE, Colo. - It has been just over two years since the Pine Ridge Fire in Mesa County was fully contained, and Thursday the Bureau of Land Management lifted the closure of the burned area after the success of the ecosystem rehabilitation.

The Pine Ridge Fire burned nearly 14,000 acres west of DeBeque in June of 2012. The high-intensity fire removed soil-stabilizing plants, making the area susceptible to wind and water erosion.

Two seeding operations took place during the fire rehabilitation to decrease erosion and reduce the threat of undesirable species.

The public can now make use of the public land, but motorized transportation in the burn area is limited to designated routes.

Grand Junction's associate field manager with the Bureau of Land Management, Wayne Werkmeister said, "Getting plants established to stabilize the soil was absolutely critical to the ecosystem... we're very glad to re-open the area as soon as possible, especially with hunting season approaching."

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