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Release Date: 08/28/14
Contacts: Chris Barth, Public Information Officer, (970) 240-5317; (970) 596-0430    

Prescribed burn near Dove Creek will reduce hazardous fuels and improve habitat

Dolores, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Tres Rios Field Office is planning to conduct a prescribed burn in the West Rim Pines fuels treatment project area, located seven miles northeast of Dove Creek, Colo., beginning as early as next week, or as conditions allow. The objectives of this prescribed burn are to reduce hazardous fuels; protect wildland urban interface communities; and improve big game habitat, sage grouse habitat and range conditions. The West Rim Pines prescribed burn will also reintroduce fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem and help restore healthy forests and species diversity. This prescribed burn is expected to treat 600 acres of ponderosa pine and Gambel oak and will be implemented by both BLM and USFS fire crews.
"A relatively normal summer in terms of precipitation has created ideal fuel conditions for completing this prescribed fire both safely and with meeting the desired fire effects,” said Brad Pietruszka, BLM Fire Management Specialist. “The area to be treated is adjacent to both homes as well as occupied Gunnison Sage-Grouse habitat, both of which should benefit from the reduction of fuels in the targeted units and the associated reduction in risk of high severity wildland fire in the coming years."
An environmental analysis and detailed burn plan outline the parameters for the prescribed burn. 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 prescribed burn is anticipated to last no more than four days, once initiated. 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.  Smoke may be visible in the area for several days after the burn is completed as vegetation in the interior of the burn continues to smolder. Fire crews will continue to monitor the burn area following completion of the burn to ensure public safety.

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.

Last updated: 08-28-2014