Prescribed burns planned to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat

OCTOBER 18, 2018

Prescribed burns planned to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat

GLENDWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) is preparing to conduct prescribed burns on White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Eagle, Pitkin, and Garfield counties, weather and conditions permitting.

“Now is the time to prepare for next wildfire season and continue to be persistent and focused on hazardous fuels reduction across the landscape,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor. “Prescribed burning is a cost-effective way to get this important work completed; in addition, low intensity fire provides benefits for wildlife habitat.”

Last year, the UCR accomplished 5,700 acres of prescribed burning across BLM and White River National Forest lands, including initial work on the Cattle Creek prescribed burn units, West Divide prescribed burn units and the Miller Creek prescribed burn.

Land managers conduct prescribed fires to improve habitat for big game and other native wildlife, and reduce fuels to lesson potential growth and severity of future wildfires. During a prescribed burn, low-intensity fire consumes overgrown fuels while promoting suckering and sprouting of nutrient-rich vegetation. This year’s potential prescribed burn locations include:

  • Cattle Creek Prescribed Burn, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District: seven miles north of Basalt, northeast of Hwy 82, up to 2,000 acres.
  • Braderich Creek Prescribed Burn, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District: 14 miles south/southwest of Carbondale, 2.5 miles west of Redstone, up to 1000 acres.
  • West Divide Prescribed Burn, Rifle Ranger District and BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office: 14 miles south of Silt, 2,000 acres (1,200 FS and 800 BLM).
  • Roan Prescribed Burn, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office: nine miles northwest of Rifle, north of I-70 BLM lands on the Roan Plateau, 600 acres. 

“We will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are ideal for safe, effective burns, as well as for good smoke dispersal away from nearby communities,” said Lathan Johnson, UCR Fuels Specialist.

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. Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and obtained smoke permits from the State of Colorado for each planned burn. Please contact Lathan Johnson at 970-640-9165 for additional information. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, visit: