Prescribed burns planned for some Garfield County public lands
Fire managers may conduct prescribed burns on more than 5,300 acres of public lands in Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle and Mesa counties in the coming weeks.
The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit announced the location of the regional burn areas Thursday for White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands.
“Prescribed fires are an important tool land managers can use to create fuel breaks that can make fire suppression efforts more effective and reduce risk to firefighters and nearby communities,” said Larry Sandoval, BLM Colorado River Valley field manager.
Land managers conduct prescribed fires to improve habitat for big game and other native wildlife, and reduce fuels to lesson potential growth and severity of future wildfires.
During a prescribed burn, low-intensity fire consumes overgrown fuels while promoting suckering and sprouting of nutrient-rich vegetation.
Smoke from the prescribed burns could be visible from nearby communities and roadways, the BLM said.
This fall’s potential prescribed burn locations include:
• June Creek Prescribed Fire, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Garfield County) – Up to 727 acres, 11 miles south of Silt.
• Roan Plateau Prescribed Fire, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Garfield County) – Up to 846 acres, 7 miles northwest of Rifle.
• Braderich Prescribed Fire, Aspen/Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County) – Up to 500 acres, 14 miles south of Carbondale and 4 miles west of Redstone.
• Cattle Creek Prescribed Fire, Aspen/Sopris Ranger District (Eagle County) – Up to 2,000 acres 8 miles north of Basalt and 12 miles south of Gypsum.
• Cottonwood Creek Prescribed Fire, Colorado River Valley Field Office (Eagle County) – Up to 472 acres, 3 miles northwest of Eagle and 6 miles northeast of Gypsum.
• Sheep Gulch Prescribed Fire, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Eagle County) – Up to 238 acres, 4 miles northwest of Gypsum.
• Farmer’s Canyon Prescribed Fire, BLM Grand Junction Field Office (Mesa County) – Up to 70 acres, 18 miles south of Grand Junction.
• West Divide Prescribed Fire, Rifle Ranger District (Mesa County) – Up to 500 acres, 18 miles south of New Castle and west of Carbondale.
“We will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are conducive for safe, effective burns, as well as for good smoke dispersal away from nearby communities,” said Lathan Johnson, a fuels specialist with the fire unit.
This spring, fire officials completed more than 3,600 acres of prescribed burns on BLM and White River National Forest lands.
“As an interagency unit, we continue to collectively focus on areas where we can reduce fuel loading and improve wildlife habitat,” said Lisa Stoeffler, deputy forest supervisor for the Forest Service. “Prescribed burning is a cost-effective and efficient way to target these areas for long-term benefits.”
For more information on the prescribed burns, contact Lathan Johnson at 970-640-9165.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.