BLM, Forest Service to burn 1,500 acres south of Gypsum |

BLM, Forest Service to burn 1,500 acres south of Gypsum

The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service will conduct a 1,500-acre prescribed burn five miles south of Gypsum later this spring.

“If conditions are not right, the burn will be postponed until next spring,” said spokesperson Philip Bowden. “Prescribed burning is very weather dependent, and most likely will occur in a few weeks.”

During active burning, smoke and flames will be visible from Interstate 70 and other points throughout Eagle County. “Although unlikely, smoke may settle into lower elevations in the evening hours,” Bowden said.

The burn is meant to improve wildlife habitat, and the two federal agencies involved are working with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The burn will suppress at least 60 percent of the oakbrush, and burn approximately 40 percent of the sagebrush in the area.

“Past experience and research has shown that burning promotes oak sprouting, and results in more palatable and usable forage for elk and deer,” Bowden continued.

In areas where sagebrush is present, burning should result in an increase in grass production for five to seven years.

The burn is being conducted out of the BLM’s Glenwood Springs office and the Forest Service’s Eagle Ranger District office.

This year’s burn follows a 3,000-acre burn last year.

Those with health problems that may be aggravated by smoke are invited to call Bowden at 970-328-6388, or Karma Kanseah at 947-2842.

The burn is called the Old Man prescribed burn.

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