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Release Date: 03/19/13
Contacts: Chris Barth    
  Fire Mitigation & Education Specialist    
  Public Information Officer    
  O: (970) 240-5317    

BLM Plans Pile Burns near Lake City, CO (03-15-13)

Gunnison, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Gunnison Field Office is planning to begin burning slash piles for the Yellowstone Mill project as early as Friday, March 15 or as condition allow through the end of spring 2013. The Yellowstone Mill project area is 1.5 acres in size and located approximately eight miles west of Lake City, Colo. The objective is to burn piles of dead aspen that are the result of mine reclamation activities. The project is expected to be completed within two days of initiation.

An environmental analysis and detailed burn plan outline the parameters for burning piles of dead aspen. “The burn plan contains specific criteria regarding weather conditions and air quality that must be met to help ensure control of the burn as well as to minimize the potential smoke impacts to local communities,” said Mike Davis, BLM Fire Management Officer.  “Fire crews will monitor burn piles following ignition to ensure public safety.”

 The BLM has obtained a Smoke Permit which identifies atmospheric conditions under which the burn can be implemented from the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division for this project. While smoke may be visible in the area at times during the pile burning, most of the smoke will lift and dissipate during the warmest part of the day.  Some smoke may linger over the area and in drainages as temperatures drop during the evening. 

“Pile burns are generally conducted during the winter and spring; when there is sufficient snow on the ground to ensure that conditions are safe to conduct the burn,” said Chris Barth, BLM Southwest District Fire Mitigation Specialist. “Prescribed fires – including pile burns – help to reduce wildfire risk to communities, help restore and maintain ecosystem health, and achieve specific resource objectives such as habitat improvement and fuels reduction.”


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

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.

  650 S 11th Street      Gunnison, CO 81230  

Last updated: 03-19-2013