Possible fire burn south of Silt issued for Thursday or Friday | PostIndependent.com

Possible fire burn south of Silt issued for Thursday or Friday

The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit, via a news release, informed the public of a prescribed burn beginning either Thursday or Friday on 2,700 acres in the West Divide Creek area.

The area, 14 miles south of Silt, sits on Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands in Garfield and Mesa counties.

Fire managers informed the public that smoke visibility could range from Glenwood Springs to the Interstate-70 corridor from Rifle to New Castle.

The planned burn would ignite 1,300 acres of Forest Service land and 1,400 acres of BLM land in hopes of curbing thick vegetation and other fuels, which if left unattended, could potentially run the risk of fueling large wildfires.

However, the planned burn will only take place if the expected ideal conditions remain in the forecast for Thursday and or Friday.

“We will only ignite this prescribed fire if conditions are ideal for a safe, effective burn, as well as for good smoke dispersal away from area communities,” Chad Sewell, fire management specialist with the Upper Colorado River Fire Unit, said in the release. “We evaluate weather, moisture, and fuel conditions before deciding whether to proceed, and human safety is always our top priority.”

If accessible, a helicopter and hand crews will ignite the burn, while other crews and engines will maintain and make sure the fire stays within the designated boundaries.

After weeks of studying the West Divide’s vegetation moisture and other factors, fire managers crafted an in depth prescribed fire plan and received the necessary smoke permits from the State of Colorado, according to the release.

Fire managers anticipate future vegetation growth in the prescribed burn area that will benefit wildlife and decrease the risk of large wildfires.

For more information regarding prescribed fire smoke and how they may affect health, visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

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