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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 11/09/09
Contacts: David Boyd, (970) 319-4130, Public Information Officer    
  Anna Callahan, (970) 456-3623, Public Information Officer    

Oak Ridge prescribed burn begins today near Meeker


RIFLE, Colo. – Fire officials with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit are planning to ignite the 766-acre Oak Ridge Prescribed Fire today about 10 miles southeast of Meeker in the Oak Ridge State Wildlife Area.

Smoke will be visible from Meeker and nearby communities during the burn. The fire will only be ignited if weather conditions and moisture levels in the vegetation fall within the specific conditions for a safe and effective fire.

Burning the oak brush and other mountain shrub species in this area will improve elk and deer habitat by stimulating younger and more nutritious plant growth. The resulting mix of burned and unburned areas and mixed ages and sizes of the shrubs is also favored by most bird and mammal species that live in these areas. By improving wildlife habitat on public lands, managers hope to reduce conflicts with wildlife on private lands.

Fire officials expect to burn today and tomorrow, but the project could take up to five days. It is a cooperative effort among the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, Yampa/White River Habitat Partnership Program, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Colorado Division of Wildlife. The burn will take place in the Seely Unit, which is in the western side of the State Wildlife Area.

Burn plans have been prepared and approved and the required smoke permits have been obtained from the Colorado State Air Pollution Division.   All prescribed fire plans contain specific criteria regarding weather conditions and air quality that must be met to help ensure adequate smoke dispersal and minimize potential smoke impacts to local communities.



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Last updated: 11-09-2009