GMUG Announces Fall Burning for Gunnison Ranger District

Contact(s): Kim Phillips 970-874-6717, Dylan Peters 970-874-6625

Gunnison, Colorado, September 17, 2019 – Fire Management Officials from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests’ Gunnison Ranger District is planning to conduct prescribed burns this fall. Most of the burns will occur between late September and October, depending upon weather and appropriate ground and vegetation conditions.

The following are currently planned burns:

  • Los Pinos Burn: located 35 miles south of Gunnison in the Cochetopa Park area on National Forest System lands. The objectives for this burn are to reduce vegetation (fuels) and improve wildlife habitat improvement. Approximately 1000 acres are planned to burn.
  • West Elk Burn: located 14 miles west of Gunnison and about 4-6 miles north of Blue Mesa Reservoir on National Forest System lands. Approximately 600 acres are planned to be burned to improve wildlife habitat and reduce accumulated vegetation in the area.

Safety of firefighters and the public are the most important factors considered when planning a prescribed burn. Fire managers have developed detailed prescribed fire plans that dictate conditions, staffing and safety requirements and obtained smoke permits from the State of Colorado for each of the planned burns. Ignition will only occur if conditions are ideal for a safe, effective burn with good smoke dispersal. The prescribed burns will be accomplished using joint-agency fire resources.

“We continue to collectively focus on areas where we can reduce fuel loading and improve wildlife habitat,” said Pat Medina, Fire Management Officer. “Prescribed burning is a cost-effective and efficient way to target areas for long-term benefits. We will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are ideal for a safe, effective burn, as well as for good smoke dispersal away from area communities.”

The objectives of the prescribed burn are to remove debris and vegetation (fuels) to help reduce the risk of larger wildfires. Prescribed fire in these areas will burn much less intensely than a wildfire and better accomplish the desired outcome on the land.

For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at 970.874.6602, visit the GMUG Forest website (, or Twitter:

For more information on how prescribed burn smoke may affect your health, please visit: