French Creek Prescribed Burn expected to happen this week




French Creek Prescribed Burn expected to happen this week

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Firefighters with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit (UCR) are expecting a window of opportunity  within the next few days to conduct the French Creek Prescribed Burn, pending favorable weather and fuel conditions. The French Creek project area is located north of I-70, above Glenwood Canyon and six miles west of Dotsero, on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District in Garfield County. This is in Game Management Unit 34.

Up to 2,000 acres of mountain shrub and Gambel oak will be ignited to benefit wildlife habitat, with funding and support from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The project will reduce hazardous fuels and improve habitat by opening dense stands of Gambel oak and brush and stimulating the growth of nutrient-rich forage for big game. “Wildlife benefits from carefully planned prescribed burning can be substantial, especially to elk and deer, which use Gambel oak for cover and browse to survive the winter months,” said Jennifer Prusse, Eagle-Holy Cross District Wildlife Biologist.

Smoke may be visible from I-70, Dotsero, Gypsum and Eagle in Eagle County and I-70, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale in Garfield County. Please do not call 911. Most of the smoke is expected to dissipate during the day, although some nighttime smoke may remain in valley bottoms as temperatures drop.

Public and firefighter safety is always the highest priority during firing operations, and prescribed burns will only be conducted if it is safe to do so. Certain conditions need to be met before firefighters will conduct a prescribed burn such as correct temperature, wind, fuel moisture and ventilation for smoke. When these criteria are met, firefighters implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets forest health and public safety goals including air quality. A helicopter will be used for aerial ignitions. There will be a helicopter staged in the vicinity of Colorado River Road north of Dotsero when burning operations occur; please drive slowly and exercise caution when traveling through this area.

No Fly Zone: Aerial operations will be used for this prescribed burn. Please refrain from flying drones in the area. Remember, if you fly, we can’t!

Smoke from wildfire and prescribed fire may affect your health. For more information see:

For more information on the French Creek Prescribed Burn please contact Lathan Johnson, Fuels Program Lead, 970-640-9165


The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) includes Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service firefighting resources that cover 5.8 million acres along the Interstate 70, Colorado River and Roaring Fork River corridors from the Continental Divide to the Utah state line. The UCR includes the White River National Forest and the BLM’s Colorado River Valley and Grand Junction field offices. The UCR cooperates with other federal and state agencies, local communities, and fire departments on a wide range of activities including fuels treatments, fire prevention, and suppression.