Upper Colorado fire managers have several prescribed burns planned around the area | PostIndependent.com

Upper Colorado fire managers have several prescribed burns planned around the area

Fire managers from the Upper Colorado River (UCR) Interagency Fire Management Unit are closely monitoring conditions in preparation for several prescribed fires that are planned in the coming weeks on federal lands in Pitkin, Eagle, Mesa and Rio Blanco counties.

Prescribed fires are carefully planned burns to reduce dense vegetation and other fuels, which helps lower the risk of large wildfires and stimulates new vegetation growth that benefits wildlife, states a news release from the White River National Forest on behalf of the inter-agency UCR unit.

“We closely monitor weather and fuels prior to burning, and we will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are good for a safe, effective burn,” Lathan Johnson, UCR Assistant Fire Management Officer, said in the release. “We are also watching weather conditions for optimal smoke dispersal to minimize impacts to nearby communities.”

Smoke may be seen from nearby communities and roads. Smoke should dissipate during the day but may remain on the valley floors as temperatures drop, the release states.

Fire managers are planning the following burns this spring on White River National Forest and area Bureau of Land Management administered lands if conditions allow:

  • Avalanche Creek, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County): 7 miles south of Carbondale, up to 500 acres.
  • Braderich Creek, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County): 1 mile west of Redstone, up to 2,000 acres.
  • Collins Creek, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County): 7 miles north of Aspen, up to 1,500 acres
  • Muddy Sheep, Eagle Holy Cross Ranger District (Eagle County): 5 miles north of Edwards, up to 2,000 acres.
  • Cottonwood Creek, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Eagle County): 4 miles north of Eagle, up to 460 acres
  • Farmers Canyon, BLM Grand Junction Field Office (Mesa County): 18 miles south of Grand Junction, up to 70 acres.
  • Palisade Watershed, BLM Grand Junction Field Office (Mesa County): 4 miles southeast of Palisade, up to 410 acres.
  • Aldrich Lakes, Blanco Ranger District (Rio Blanco County): 14 miles northeast of Meeker, up to 3,000 acres

Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and obtained smoke permits from the State of Colorado for each planned burn, the release states.

For additional information, contact Lathan Johnson at 970-257-4819. Smoke from prescribed fires can be a health hazard. For more information, visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

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