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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 01/30/14
Contacts: Contact: Chris Barth, Public Information Officer    
  BLM - Southwest District Fire Management    
  Phone: 970.240.5317 (o)    
  970.596.0430 (c)    
  Email: cbarth@blm.gov    

BLM Plans Pile Burns to Reduce Hazardous Fuels


Dolores, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Tres Rios Field Office plans to begin burning slash piles for three hazardous fuels reduction projects as early as Friday, January 31st, or as conditions allow. The purpose of all three slash pile burns is to reduce hazardous fuels in the wildland urban interface (WUI) as a follow-up to previous mechanical fuels reduction activities.
 
The Animas City Mountain project, located on the west side of Animas City Mountain in Durango, includes 300 piles of ponderosa pine and oakbrush within a 29 acre area. The Anasazi Heritage Center project, located 2 miles west of Dolores, includes 30 piles of pinõn-juniper and oakbrush within a 10 acre area. The Disappointment Valley project, located approximately 8 miles SE of Slick Rock, includes 200 piles of tamarisk within a 100 acre project area.  In addition to reducing hazardous fuels, the Disappointment Valley project will also reduce invasive species. Each project is expected to be completed within one to two days of initiation. Fire crews will monitor burn piles following ignition to ensure public safety.
 
An environmental analysis and detailed burn plan has been completed for all three project areas. “The burn plan contains specific criteria regarding weather conditions and air quality that must be met to help ensure control of the burns as well as to minimize the potential smoke impacts to local communities,” said Scott McDermid, Fire Management Officer.
 
The BLM has obtained a Smoke Permit that identifies atmospheric conditions under which the burns can be implemented from the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division. While smoke may be visible at times during slash pile burning, most of the smoke will lift and dissipate during the warmest part of the day.  Some smoke may linger over the area and in drainages as temperatures drop during the evening.
 
“Pile burns are generally conducted during the winter and spring; when there is sufficient snow on the ground to ensure that conditions are safe to conduct the burn. The forecast for much needed moisture in the area is expected to result in the specific weather conditions that will allow these piles burns to be completed safely,” said Chris Barth, BLM Southwest District Fire Mitigation Specialist. “Prescribed fires – including pile burns – help to reduce wildfire risk to communities, help restore and maintain ecosystem health, and achieve specific resource objectives such as reducing invasive plant species.”
 


For information on wildfires and restrictions in the area, call the Southwest District Fire Management Information line (970.240.1070), visit the MIFMU website (http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2mtc/), or follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/SWD_Fire) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BLMMontroseFireUnit).
 
The Southwest District Fire Management program covers the BLM Colorado’s Southwest District and the Gunnison Field Office (BLM), the Uncompahgre Field Office (BLM), and Tres Rios Field Office (BLM) in the Colorado counties of Archuleta, Conejos, Delta, Dolores, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel.

 



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.
--BLM--

Last updated: 02-06-2014