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Release Date: 12/03/09
Contacts: Contact: Brian Stevens, Fire Ecologist, 970-642-4466    
  Lee Ann Loupe, Public and Legislative Affairs Staff Officer, 970-874-6717    
  Erin Curtis, Public Affairs Specialist, 970-244-3097    

Pile Burns Planned in Gold Basin Could Start This Week

Montrose, CO – Officials with the Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit say they could begin to burn slash piles near the Gold Basin subdivision as early as this week.

The piles were generated from fuels reduction projects near the subdivision nine miles south of Gunnison. The piles will be burned when weather conditions are favorable throughout the winter.

Weather and fuel moisture conditions must be right for achieving burn objectives, maintaining control of the burns and lifting smoke out of the area.

During burn periods, smoke is likely to be visible from the Gold Basin subdivision and from Gunnison. Burning will continue through the fall and winter until there is too much snow to access the piles.

“Our objectives with this burn are to reduce fuels and improve forage for wildlife and livestock,” said Brian Stevens, fire ecologist with Montrose Interagency Fire. “We have about two thousand piles out there to burn, and we are hoping to get to at least a thousand this winter before the snow gets too deep.”

Weather conditions will be closely monitored prior to and during the burns, and the burns will only be initiated if conditions are within approved parameters for safe and effective fires.  Each controlled burn conducted by the agencies has gone through an environmental analysis and has a detailed burn plan developed in advance. Appropriate smoke permits have been obtained for each burn, as well.

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.

  2465 South Townsend Avenue      Montrose, CO 81401  

Last updated: 12-04-2009