Prescribed burns planned to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat

March 3, 2019

GLENWOOD 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 lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties, weather and conditions permitting. 

Last year, the UCR completed 6,000 acres of prescribed burns 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.

“As an interagency unit, we continue to collectively focus on areas where we can reduce fuel loading and improve wildlife habitat,” said Lisa Stoeffler, Deputy White River Forest Supervisor. “Prescribed burning is a cost-effective and efficient way to target these areas for long-term benefits.” 

“Prescribed fires are an important tool land managers can use to create fuel breaks that can make fire suppression efforts more effective and reduce risk to firefighters and nearby communities,” said Larry Sandoval, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager. 

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 (Eagle County): seven miles north of Basalt, northeast of Hwy 82, up to 1,500 acres.
  • Grizzly Creek Prescribed Burn, Eagle Holy Cross/Rifle Ranger Districts (Garfield County): 1 mile northwest of the Grizzly Creek trailhead/Interstate-70 in Glenwood Canyon, 521 acres. 
  • French Creek Prescribed Burn, Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District (Garfield County): 2.5 miles south and southeast of the Deep Creek Overlook north of Glenwood Canyon, up to 2,000 acres. 
  • Cherry Creek Prescribed Burn, Rifle Ranger District (Garfield County): 7 miles north of Silt, up to 1,154 acres. 
  • Braderich Creek Prescribed Burn, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County): 14 miles south/southwest of Carbondale, 2.5 miles west of Redstone, up to 2,000 acres.
  • West Divide Prescribed Burn - June Creek Unit, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Garfield County): 14 miles south of Silt, up to 727 acres.
  • Sheep Gulch Prescribed Burn, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Eagle County): 4 miles northwest of Gypsum, CO, up to 287 acres.

“We will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are conducive 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: .