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Release Date: 11/13/09
Contacts: David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 876-9008    

Fire crews to burn slash piles in Roaring Fork Valley

SILT, Colo. – Federal fire crews plan to burn slash piles this winter generated by fuels reduction projects on Light Hill near Basalt and on Oak Meadows near Four Mile Creek.

The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit created openings in the oak brush and mountain shrubs in these areas to reduce the heavy fire fuel load and improve wildlife habitat.

The resulting slash was piled and allowed to dry. Crews will burn piles when weather conditions are favorable to lift smoke out of the area, beginning as early as next week and potentially continuing through February.

“We’re also waiting for good snow cover before we begin burning,” said Project Leader Ody Anderson. “We have approximately 250 piles to burn at Light Hill along East Sopris Road and about 150 at Oak Meadows.”

Smoke will likely be seen for short periods from Emma, Basalt, Old Snowmass and Highway 82 when crews burn on Light Hill, and from the nearby subdivision and Four Mile drainage when crews burn at Oak Meadows. 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) 876-9030.

Reducing the continuous stands of brush helps reduce the wildfire threat as well as improve firefighter and public safety. The work stimulates new growth of grasses, forbs and shrubs that greatly enhances wildlife habitat.

The piles will be burned under the authority of an approved burn plan and smoke permit 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.

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  2300 River Frontage Road      Silt, CO 81652  

Last updated: 11-13-2009