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Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit
News Release
Feb. 11, 2009
Contact: David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 947-2832

Fire crews to burn slash piles near Silt

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – As early as next week federal fire crews will burn slash piles generated by a tamarisk removal project northeast of Silt, Colo. 

Last spring federal interagency fire crews, Bureau of Land Management specialists and Garfield County Vegetation Management teamed to cut and pile a one-acre tamarisk infestation on BLM land about one-half mile north of the intersection of Peach Valley Road (County Road 214) and Davis Point Road (County Road 235). 

Tamarisk, or salt cedar, is an invasive, non-native shrub that grows along waterways, impacting wildlife habitat and native vegetation. It has created substantial problems throughout the West.

“We caught this particular infestation while it was still relatively small,” said Dereck Wilson, BLM rangeland management specialist. “Had we left it unchecked, it would have continued to grow and provide a significant source of seeds for additional infestations in the area.”

The resulting piles of cut tamarisk were left to dry through the summer and fall. The piles will be burned when conditions are optimal sometime between next week and the end of March.

“We have about 50 piles to burn, which should take about two or three days,” said Ody Anderson, BLM fuels specialist. “We only conduct these burns when weather conditions are favorable for a safe, effective burn and good smoke dispersal.”

Some drift smoke could affect homeowners for a short period of time. Anyone with health conditions that may be affected by short durations of smoke should contact Ody Anderson at (970) 309-4089.

The piles will be burned under the authority of an approved burn plan when moisture in adjacent vegetation is at acceptable levels. The burn operations will occur Monday through Friday only, and will end two hours before sunset. 


Last updated: 12-11-2009