Forest Service to Burn Piles

Release Date: Dec 4, 2012   Delta, CO

Contact(s): Lee Ann Loupe (970) 874-6717

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests has plans to burn “slash piles” in several areas.  Forest fire management officials anticipate burning the piles in early December and continuing into January, as conditions warrant.  The following burns are planned:

Raspberry Radio Repeater Site:  Approximately 500 piles, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Montrose on the Uncompahgre Plateau.  The piles are the result of chainsaw thinning that was performed at the site to help protect numerous radio antennas and other structures from potential fire damage, should wildland fire occur in the area. 

Ward Lake Area: Approximately 300 piles, located approximately 2 miles east of the Grand Mesa Visitor Center along Forest Service Road 121.  This project will reduce vegetation (fire fuels) that resulted from previous thinning of trees in the area and help mitigate potential fire damage to structures in the area, should wildland fire occur.

Goat Creek Timber Sale:  Thirty-four piles located over 90 acres of land.  This area is located about 17 miles south of Norwood in the Beaver Park area. The piles are comprised of un-merchantable wood and “slash” resulting from the Goat Creek Timber sale.

SnoGo Timber Sale:  Approximately 250 piles.  This area is located about 12 miles south of Norwood and south of the intersection of County Road 44Z and Forest Service Road 642 (near the East Naturita snowmobile parking area). The piles are comprised of un-merchantable wood and “slash” resulting from the SnoGo Timber sale.

Gunnison Ranger District: Approximately 700 “slash piles” in several locations (the Alpine Plateau, southwest of Gunnison; in Taylor Park, near Waunita Pass and north of Waunita Park; and north of Sargents, in Tomichi Creek).    The slash piles are located: on timber sale “log-landings” and in various project areas where thinning of tree stands and activities to treat insect and disease have occurred.

Public and firefighter safety and protection of private property are the primary concerns for fire management.  A burn plan has been prepared and approved and specifies staffing, weather and other conditions that are required to light the piles.  The plan also calls for conditions that are wet enough to prevent fire from creeping along the ground and/or when snow is present.  Likewise, smoke dispersal conditions of “Fair” or better will be required in order to minimize visual impacts in the area.