BLM plans annual pile burns

Six locations identified in southeastern Colorado


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Royal Gorge Field Office

Media Contact:

Canon City, Colo. - The Bureau of Land Management is preparing to conduct pile burns in six locations this winter. Pile burns remove dead wood and other flammable materials from areas thinned by treatments during the summer months. This process is critical to maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem and to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

The specific locations of the pile burns are listed at the bottom of this release.

Pile burns may occur as early as November 2023 and could continue through April 2024, depending on weather and fuel moisture conditions. Smoke from the pile burns will be visible throughout the day of the burn, mostly during the warmest part of the day. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may linger and accumulate in low-lying areas.

According to the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division, “Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health”. For more information see www.col

1.    Frenchman Creek: 7 miles north of Buena Vista, west of US HW 24, Chaffee CR 386. 85 acres, 32 machine piles. Lodgepole pine.
2.    West Kerr Gulch: 5 miles southeast of Howard, CO and 3 miles northwest of Coaldale, CO south of US HW 50. Kerr Gulch Road. 222 acres, 5,000 hand piles. Mixed conifer.
3.    Mount Shavano: 3 miles northwest of Poncha Springs, west of HW 285 and north of US HW 50. 182 acres, 3000 hand piles. Ponderosa pine, piñon, and juniper.
4.    North Stoney Face: 17 miles north of Cotopaxi, CO, south of Fremont CR 12 and Firebox Road. 176 acres, 19 machine piles, Engelmann spruce.
5.    Soapy Hill Piles: 11 miles south of Guffey, CO, Fremont CR 21 and 26, south of the Tallahassee RD (Fremont CR 2). West of HW 9. 90 acres of 5 machine piles, 265 acres of 2000 hand piles. Ponderosa pine, piñon, juniper, and mixed conifer.
6.    Thompson Mountain: 13 miles northwest of Cañon City, 2 miles east of HW 9, and in the Deer Haven area near Thompson Mountain. 35 machine piles. Ponderosa pine, piñon, juniper and Gambel oak.

For additional information concerning the pile burns, contact Matt Norden, Fire Management Officer, BLM Rocky Mountain District Fire and Aviation Management, at (719) 269-8583. For media enquiries, please contact Levi Spellman, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Rocky Mountain District Public Affairs, at (719) 839-1584.       

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.