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Release Date: 09/30/13
Contacts: David Boyd, BLM Public Information Officer, (970) 876-9008    
  Chris Joyner, BLM Public Information Officer, (970) 244-3097    

Firefighters Plan Fall Prescribed Burns (09-30-13)

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Federal fire officials from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit are planning three prescribed burns in October. The burns could start as early as Oct. 1 but will depend on weather and vegetation conditions.
The Bureau of Land Management and Town of Palisade plan to burn 200 acres of oak brush and mountain shrubs in the Palisade Watershed about seven miles southeast of Palisade. Smoke will be visible from throughout the Grand Valley, including I-70, Palisade and Grand Junction. This one-day burn will complement the approximately 400 acres burned in the spring to improve environmental conditions within the watershed through a cooperative agreement between BLM and the Town of Palisade. 
“The 2009 Palisade Watershed Fire Mitigation Plan identifies this area as needing treatment to reduce the chance of a large, intense wildfire that could severely impact the watershed,” said Frank Watt, Public Works Director for the Town of Palisade. “The burn completed in April was very successful. We are hoping weather and fuel conditions give us a window to get more accomplished this fall.”
Firefighters also hope to burn about 360 acres of aspen this fall on BLM lands on the Roan Plateau, nine miles northwest of Rifle. Firefighters are conducting this burn to stimulate resprouting of aspen suffering from Sudden Aspen Decline. They expect this burn will take up to two days. The burn will take place north of the East Fork of Parachute Creek and south of the Ben Good Creek headwaters. 
The Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest plans to conduct a 850- to 1500-acre burn in the Aldrich Lakes area approximately 19 miles northeast of Meeker, Colo. Officials anticipate that this burn may take up to four days to accomplish.  This work is a continuation of collaborative efforts by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Natural Resource Conservation Service.
“We will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are ideal for a safe, effective burn, as well as for good smoke dispersal away from area communities,” said Lathan Johnson, acting UCR assistant fire management officer.
These burns will decrease the amount of vegetation that has accumulated in these areas, which haven’t seen fire in a number of years. This will help reduce the risk of larger wildfires as well as improve wildlife habitat by stimulating new, more nutritious plant production in the burned area. 
Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and obtained smoke permits from the State of Colorado for each of the planned burns. 
“We will do what we can to avoid burning during hunting seasons, but the window for ideal conditions for safe, effective burns can be very narrow, particularly in the fall,” Johnson said. “Most hunters will appreciate the overall benefit to wildlife and wildlife habitat from these burns, and we ask for patience regarding any short-term, localized impacts to hunters this year.”
For more information about these planned prescribed fires, contact Lathan Johnson, (970) 257-4823.

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.

  2815 H Road      Grand Junction CO 81506  

Last updated: 09-30-2013