BLM and Rio Blanco Fire Protection District to complete firebreak near Meeker

Northwest DO
White River FO
Media Contact

MEEKER, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Rio Blanco Fire Protection District (RBFPD) will begin work on a firebreak northwest of the Town of Meeker this April.

Crews will work in areas that have been deemed critical due to vegetation growth, infrastructure, and other values at risk. There are approximately 50 primary residences and three water towers within a quarter mile of the proposed firebreak. The Phillip and Dorcas Jensen Memorial Park, Sanderson Hills Park, and Sage Hills Park are also within a quarter mile of the planned firebreak.

With the history of wildfires near Meeker, the BLM and RBFPD partnered in the development, funding, and construction to plan a firebreak to reduce the risks of catastrophic wildfire.  "Pre-planning and implementing actions such as creating a firebreak before they are needed will help increase fire suppression success, develop stronger fuels management and allow for better protection for the Town of Meeker,” said RBFPD Chief Luke Pelloni.  "The partnership between the RBFPD and the BLM has been pivotal to help get boots on the ground soon to make this project a reality."

“This is the first year of this Cooperative Agreement with the Rio Blanco Fire Protection District,” said BLM White River Field Office Manager Bill Mills.  “The RBFPD and BLM are utilizing the BLM Community Fire Assistance Program to achieve the objective of creating a firebreak in Meeker.” The BLM Community Fire Assistance Program is a five-year Cooperative Agreement that is designed to fund projects for fire departments, non-profits, local and state governments, and Native American Tribes.

“Part of the Community Fire Assistance Program goals are to plan and implement strategies to protect communities and infrastructure from the risk of wildfire,” said BLM Fire Management Specialist Landon Smith.  “We hope to increase public understanding and help create fire resilient landscapes that will reduce wildfire impacts to communities.”

There may be temporary interruptions along the Meeker Trails System while work is being completed.  Please see the Meeker fuels break map for the planned work area and use caution if you encounter workers along the trails.