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BLM conducts pile burning of invasive species

Collection of tamarisk and Russian olive will be eliminated
The BLM will burn piles of the invasive tamarisk and Russian olive this week in Dry Creek Basin and on Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

The Bureau of Land Management is conducting prescribed pile burning in several locations in the Tres Rios Field Office this week.

In the Dry Creek Basin area 15 miles southwest of Norwood, the BLM will burn 300 piles of cut tamarisk on 104 acres.

In McElmo Creek and Yellow Jacket Creek within Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, the BLM will burn 300 piles of cut tamarisk and Russian olive on 293 acres along Montezuma Country Road G. The burns are conducted by the BLM’s Southwest Colorado Fire and Aviation Management Unit.

The objective of both prescribed burn projects is to restore riparian habitat by removing invasive plant species in coordination with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and in accordance with detailed burn plans that outline specific parameters for the burns.

“Our primary constraints for conducting the burns are favorable amounts of snow or rain prior to burning and ideal weather and acceptable smoke dispersal conditions to ensure control of the burn and minimize potential smoke impacts to local communities,” stated Ian Barrett, BLM fire management specialist for the Tres Rios Field Office.

The BLM has obtained required smoke permits from the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division that identify atmospheric conditions under which the burns can be implemented and will adhere to a detailed burn plan that outlines strict parameters for prescribed burns. Pile burning may take days to complete and will be closely monitored to ensure public safety. While visible at times, most smoke should lift and dissipate during the warmest parts of the day.

For additional information on this prescribed burn, contact the Tres Rios Field Office at (970) 882-1120.