Open Burning in the Basalt Fire District

Open Burning is allowed October 1st through May 31st. Download a permit here, or stop by the District Headquarters in El Jebel, Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm.

Our Mission

The primary mission of the Basalt & Rural Fire Protection District is to provide emergency and non-emergency services for the protection of life and property in Pitkin and Eagle County, Colorado. The department provides 24-hour emergency response to a wide variety of critical situations, including fires, explosions, hazardous materials incidents, medical emergencies, accidents and miscellaneous public assistance requests. In addition, the department operates active fire prevention and emergency preparedness programs which provides for fire inspections, hazardous process permitting, fire code enforcement, community education and business emergency planning in accordance with Colorado laws.

Contact Us

1089 JW Drive
Carbondale, CO 81623


UPDATE:PRESCRIBED BURN POSTPONED DUE TO CHANGES IN WEATHER. We will update again once the USFS reschedules the burn.


May 15, 2019

Media Contacts: Karen Schroyer, District Ranger, 970-379-1203

Lynn Lockwood, Public Affairs, 970-208-2521


Firefighters planning to implement Cattle Creek Prescribed burn Thursday

EL JEBEL, Colo. –Pending favorable weather conditions, firefighters with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) are expecting a window of opportunity tomorrow to conduct the Cattle Creek prescribed burn. The prescribed burn will reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat on up to 1,800 acres of National Forest Lands.

The Cattle Creek prescribed burn is located nine miles north of El Jebel near Cottonwood Pass on the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District in Eagle County. This will be the third time prescribed burn operations have been conducted in the Cattle Creek project area. Land Managers conduct prescribed burning to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat.

Proactive prescribed burn treatments played an important role during the 2018 Lake Christine firefighting operations. Past prescribed burning conducted in 2015 on the northwest side of Basalt Mountain led to moderated fire behavior during the Lake Christine wildfire. Moderated, or less active, fire behavior gave firefighters the opportunity to safely engage the Lake Christine Fire and protect the community of Missouri Heights from the advancing fire front.

“The Lake Christine Fire was exhibiting active, crowning fire behavior,” said Karen Schroyer, District Ranger. “When the fire front reached the previously treated prescribed burn project area, fire behavior immediately changed to a slow-moving, creeping fire which was much safer for firefighters to engage and successfully suppress fire in that area.”

Thursday’s prescribed burn operations will be implemented by helicopter and on the ground by hand. Smoke from the Cattle Creek prescribed fire may be visible from Carbondale, Basalt, El Jebel, Gypsum, and Eagle.

Firefighters and engines will be on-scene and will closely monitor conditions during and after ignitions. Crews are responsible for igniting vegetation, monitoring control and spread of fire and smoke, ensuring fire is held by control features and monitoring fire behavior. Springtime conditions, including wet slopes and snowpack, are favorable control features that will be utilized on this prescribed burn.

The Cattle Creek prescribed burn is part of the ten-year Aspen-Sopris wildlife habitat improvement project that uses prescribed fire and mechanical treatments in key forest, shrubland and grassland vegetation types across the district to improve habitat and benefit wildlife.

For more information on how prescribed fire smoke may affect your health please visit: For the latest updates follow us on twitter @WhiteRiverNews or on Facebook here: U.S. Forest Service – White River National Forest.


Photo Caption: Photo of the 2017 Cattle Creek Prescribed burn implementation.

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Fire Ban Questions

The fire district is located in both Eagle and Pitkin Counties. The responsibility of initiating or rescinding fire bans falls to the sheriffs of both of these counties. Please direct any questions you may have to the Sheriff’s office in your county. To obtain a burn permit please go here.

Eagle County Sheriff's Office
(970) 328-8500

Pitkin County Sheriff's Office
(970) 920-5300