The Bureau of Land Management's Uncompahgre Field Office is planning to begin a prescribed burn for the Nucla/Cahone fuels treatment project as early as Tuesday, April 23, or as conditions allow through the end of spring 2013. The project area is approximately five miles south of Naturita and two miles west of Hwy 141. The objective of the 110 acre Nucla/Cahone prescribed burn is to reduce the risk of wildfire to the Nucla/Cahone powerline, enhance native wildlife habitat by creating habitat diversity, and improve land health by enhancing native vegetation and improve watershed and soil conditions. The prescribed burn is a follow-up treatment to mechanically treated pinyon/juniper in the project area. Once initiated, the prescribed burn is anticipated to last approximately two days.
An environmental analysis and detailed burn plan outline the parameters for the Nucla/Cahone prescribed burn. "The burn plan contains specific criteria regarding weather conditions and air quality that must be met to help ensure control of the burn as well as to minimize the potential smoke impacts to local communities," said Dan Huisjen, BLM Fire Ecologist.-
The BLM has obtained a Smoke Permit which identifies atmospheric conditions under which the prescribed burn can be implemented from the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division for this project. While smoke may be visible in the area at times during the burn, most of the smoke will lift and dissipate during the warmest part of the day.- Some smoke may linger over the area and in drainages as temperatures drop during the evening.-
"Fire crews will be onsite during the burn - as well as monitor the burn area following completion of the burn - to ensure public safety," said Mike Davis, BLM Southwest District Fire Management Officer.-
The Southwest District Fire Management program covers the BLM Colorado's Southwest District and the Gunnison Field Office (BLM), the Uncompahgre Field Office (BLM), and Tres Rios Field Office (BLM) in the Colorado counties of Archuleta, Conejos, Delta, Dolores, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel.
For information on wildfires and restrictions in the area, call the Southwest District Fire Management Information line (970.240.1070), or visit the MIFMU website - http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2mtc.