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Release Date: 06/04/13

Conditions Are Favorable for Prescribed Burn near Powderhorn, CO (06-04-13)

Gunnison, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Gunnison Field Office is planning to begin a prescribed burn for the Indian Creek fuels treatment project later this week. Expected weather and fuel conditions should allow fire managers to complete 100 acres of prescribed fire treatment in the project area, which is located four miles west of Powderhorn, Colo. between Dutch Gulch and Sapinero Mesa.

While wildfire activity is increasing in much of the western U.S., local conditions in the project area are within the parameters to conduct the prescribed burn safely. Completing prescribed fire treatments can be challenging; in that fire managers balance the need to proactively treat vegetation to reduce the likelihood of large wildfires that could threaten communities with the specific environmental conditions needed to ensure a safe prescribed burn.

An environmental analysis and detailed burn plan outline the parameters for the prescribed burn at Indian Creek. 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. The BLM obtained a Smoke Permit which identifies conditions for implementing the prescribed burn by the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division.

The objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuels adjacent to private development and to improve wildlife habitat for elk and deer in the project area. The Indian Creek prescribed burn will also reintroduce fire to a fire adapted ecosystem and help restore healthy forests and species diversity.

Fire crews will be onsite during the burn – as well as monitor the burn area following completion of the burn - to ensure public safety. While smoke may be visible in the area at times during the burn, 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. 


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 Southwest District Fire Management program covers the BLM Colorado’s Southwest District and the Gunnison Field Office (BLM), the Uncompahgre Field Office (BLM), and Tres Rios Field Office (BLM) in the Colorado counties of Archuleta, Conejos, Delta, Dolores, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan 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.

  650 S 11th Street      Gunnison, CO 81230  

Last updated: 06-04-2013