BLM Logo
Release Date: 04/02/14
Contacts: Chris Barth, Public Information Officer    
  BLM - Southwest District Fire Management    

BLM Plan Prescribed Burn to Reduce Hazardous Fuels and Protect Critical Infrastructure

Montrose, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Uncompahgre Field Office is planning to conduct a prescribed burn in the Nucla/Cahone fuels treatment project area as early as Tuesday, April 8 or as conditions allow through the end of Spring 2014. The project area is located ten miles west of Norwood, Colo. The objectives of this prescribed burn are to reduce the risk of wildfire to nearby power lines, reduce hazardous fuels, and to improve wildlife habitat. This prescribed burn is expected to treat 120 acres of pinion-juniper vegetation.
“We often speak to reducing wildfire risk around communities; this treatment has the potential to protect the power supply to hundreds, if not thousands, of communities,” said Chris Barth, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist.
This prescribed burn is a continuation in a series of ongoing fuels treatments in the area, which began with a mechanical reduction of fuels followed by prescribed burning. A separate 110 acres was successfully treated through prescribed burning in 2013.
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 three 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.
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.

Last updated: 04-02-2014