Prescribed fire planned south of Silt Saturday
Fire managers with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit are planning to burn up to 727 acres of Bureau of Land Management administered lands 14 miles south of Silt on Saturday.
“We expect tomorrow to offer one more day of favorable weather and vegetation conditions before the cooler weather moves in Sunday,” Chad Sewell, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office fuels specialist, said in a press release. “We will be closely monitoring conditions and will only begin the burn if conditions are conducive for a safe, effective burn.”
According to the release, fire managers will burn what’s known as the June Creek Unit of the West Divide burn area to reduce fuel for wildfires and create fuel breaks where suppressing a larger, unwanted wildfire can be more effective.
The prescribed fire is expected to improve wildlife habitat by creating openings in the oak brush and mountain shrubs as well as stimulating new, nutritious vegetation growth.
“It can be tough to find windows for effective spring prescribed fires, but the last few days have been ideal,” Sewell said.
UCR firefighters conducted burns on Forest Service lands Thursday in Pitkin County and Friday in eastern Garfield County.
Smoke may be seen from Silt and other communities in the Colorado River and Roaring Fork valleys, particularly in the afternoon. Smoke should dissipate during the day, but may remain on the valley floors as temperatures drop, the release explained.
Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and obtained state smoke permits for each planned burn. For more information regarding health concerns related to smoke, visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon may be closed intermittently Wednesday through the weekend, as highway crews break down and remove boulders and patch potholes caused by Tuesday’s rock slide.