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Release Date: 10/09/12
Contacts: Chris Barth, Public Information Officer    
  Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit    
  Phone: 970.240.5317 (o)    
  970.596.0430 (c)    

Wildfires Activity Subdued, Yet Still More Work Ahead (10-05-12)

Montrose, Colo. – The Oak Mesa Fire remains at 0.1 acres. The fire was reported at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and is located on BLM-managed lands approximately five miles north-northwest of Hotchkiss, Colorado. Access to the fire has been difficult; however several firefighters from the BLM have been working on suppression of the Oak Mesa Fire all afternoon. The fire is burning in pinion-juniper vegetation and fire behavior has been limited to creeping and smoldering despite gusty afternoon winds. Firefighters will monitor the fire overnight and expect to have it contained by tomorrow. The Oak Mesa Fire was lightning-caused. There are no threats to life or property and there have been no injuries on the fire.

The Chaining Fire, previously reported as being located on private land, is on BLM-managed land approximately four miles north of Hotchkiss. The fire is currently 5.1 acres in size. The Chaining Fire was driven by gusty afternoon winds. Fire crews were able to make excellent progress on the suppression of the Chaining Fire today – largely due to the quick response of the Hotchkiss Fire Protection District and several drops from a single engine air tanker (SEAT). Resources from the Montrose Fire Protection District and Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit also responded to the fire today. Crews from Montrose Interagency Fire will monitor the fire overnight and continue working on containment early tomorrow morning. An additional 20-person hand crew will arrive tomorrow morning to assist with the suppression and mop-up of the fire. The Chaining Fire is burning in heavy, downed fuels and it may take several days before it is contained and all hot spots are extinguished. The fire was caused by lightning. There are no threats to life or property and there have been no injuries on the fire.

Smoke may be visible in the vicinity of the fires during the next several days. Smoke may settle in the low areas overnight as temperatures decrease and relative humidity increases. Weather tomorrow is expected to be cooler. A Red Flag Warning that was issued today will expire at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Additional updates will be posted on our Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

For information on wildfires and restrictions in the area, call the MIFMU Fire Information line (970.240.1070), visit the MIFMU website (, or follow us on Twitter ( and Facebook (

The Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit covers the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest (USFS), the Gunnison Field Office (BLM), the Uncompahgre Field Office (BLM), Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (NPS), Curecanti National Recreation Area (NPS), and public lands in the counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, 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 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: 10-09-2012