Eagle County due for prescribed burns
Burns will be near Gypsum, Eagle and Edwards
Fire managers from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit are hoping conditions will be ideal in the coming weeks to begin igniting up to 12 prescribed fires on Bureau of Land Management and White River National Forest lands in Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, Pitkin, 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.
“Prescribed fires are an important tool land managers use to reduce risk to nearby communities and give firefighters areas to more safely and effectively engage potential future wildfires,” BLM Upper Colorado River District Manager Greg Larson said.
“As we continue to see larger wildfires and longer fire seasons, the need for more prescribed fires and other fuel reduction work grows,” White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said.
Lathan Johnson, an assistant fire management officer for the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit, said, “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. We are also watching weather conditions for optimal smoke dispersal to minimize impacts to nearby communities.”
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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.
Locally, officials are planning the following burns this spring if conditions allow:
- Cattle Creek Prescribed Burn, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Eagle County): 9 miles northeast of El Jebel and 9 miles southwest of Gypsum, up to 1,500 acres.
- Cottonwood Creek Prescribed Burn, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Eagle County): 4 miles north of Eagle, up to 460 acres.
- Muddy Pass Prescribed Burn, Eagle Holy Cross Ranger District (Eagle County): 5 miles north of Edwards, up to 2,900 acres.
- Seven Castles Prescribed Burn, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Eagle County): 5 miles west of Ruedi Reservoir and 6 miles east of Basalt, up to 1,100 acres.
Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and obtained smoke permits from the state of Colorado for each planned burn. For more information, call Johnson at 970-257-4819. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, go to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.