The Bureau of Land Management Southwest District plans to burn slash piles on public lands managed by BLM at several locations in the Gunnison, Tres Rios, and Uncompahgre Field Offices as conditions allow throughout the winter.
These burns are part of larger projects on the Southwest District to reduce hazardous fuels to protect wildland-urban interface communities by providing defensible space adjacent to private property and removing invasive species to restore forest health.
Prescribed pile burning locations include:
- Four Neighborhood piles along Ouray County Road 4A, Lake Lenore Subdivision.
- Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area piles along Gunnison River, 4 miles east of Delta.
- Los Pinos piles 13 miles south of Powderhorn and Colorado Highway 149.
- West Dolores Rim piles, east of Colorado Highway 141, Egnar and Dove Creek.
- Canyons of Ancients National Monument piles in Yellow Jacket area, 24 miles west of Cortez.
- Summit Lake piles south of Colorado Highway 184 between Dolores and Mancos.
- Dry Creek piles 10 miles south of Naturita, CO and near Colorado Highway 141.
“These burn projects will improve forest health by reducing hazardous fuels and eliminating invasive species,” stated James Savage, BLM Supervisory Fuels Specialist.
He said burns will be conducted once favorable amounts of snow or rain are received, and areas have acceptable smoke dispersal to minimize potential smoke impacts to local communities.
The prescribed pile burning may take multiple days to complete once initiated and will be monitored throughout the process to ensure public safety.
While smoke may be visible in the area at times, most of the smoke will lift and dissipate during the warmest parts of the day. A detailed burn plan outlines the parameters for prescribed burns.
The BLM obtained smoke permits from the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division, which identify atmospheric conditions under which the burns can be implemented.