Fire Management & Planning

A plane makes a drop of bright red fire retardant over smokey tree tops.The White River National Forest is part of the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit (UCR). 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.

Pile Burning

A pile of debris on fire in the snow.Slash piles are the result of past work thinning and clearing vegetation to reduce the risk of unwanted wildfires and improve wildlife habitat. Firefighters will only burn slash piles when there is snow on the ground and weather conditions allow for a safe, effective burn and optimal smoke dispersal.

Slash piles to be burned winter 2020/2021: Firefighters from the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit plan to burn nearly 5,000 slash piles this winter in several locations on the White River National Forest in Eagle, Pitkin and Summit counties.

Locations scheduled for pile burning in Eagle County include Vail Intermountain in West Vail and Piney Salvage north of Vail near Red and White Mountain. In Pitkin County, crews will be burning piles near Nast in the upper Fryingpan River valley. In Summit County, locations include the Peak 7 Subdivision in Breckenridge, Tiger Road area, Miners Creek/Rainbow Lake area near Frisco, Spring Creek area north Heeney, and Keystone Gulch.

Crews may burn tens to hundreds of piles per day depending on location and conditions. Most of the smoke will dissipate during the day; however, some smoke could remain in valley bottoms and drainages at night for short durations. For more information about pile burning in these areas contact Ryan Hughes at (970) 328-5891.

Fire Planning

Firefighter walks in the sun with a hand tool near a controlled burn.Interagency Federal fire policy requires that every area with burnable vegetation must have a Fire Management Plan. Our fire plan provides information with regard to the fire process for the White River National Forest and compiles guidance from existing sources such as but not limited to, the White River National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, national policy, and national and regional directives. 

2011 Fire Management Plan

2011 Fire Management Plan Map

Fire News & Coordination

Fire fighter stands in a burning field during a controlled burn with a hand held radio.For the latest White River National Forest fire information, please visit the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit (UCR).

Interested in joining the crew?

Firefighters must be at least 18 years of age, be in top physical condition and willing to work in strenuous conditions. If you're interested in learning more about opportunities for a career in fire or if you're just looking for summer employment, visit our jobs section. You can also fill out a profile, attach a resume and apply now at