Prescribed burn planned this spring in San Juan County

MOAB, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to conduct a prescribed burn east of La Sal in the Ray Mesa area near the Utah Colorado state line. The prescribed burn, totaling approximately 124 acres, is scheduled between late March and early April, as weather and burn conditions allow.  

Prescribed burns take place when fuel moisture, weather, and smoke dispersal ranges align to create favorable conditions. The Ray Mesa fuels project will reduce encroaching pinyon and juniper woodlands, restore ecosystem health, enhance wildlife habitat and protect adjacent communities by reducing the potential for high-intensity wildfire.   

Ray Mesa is home to some of the last old growth ponderosa pine stands in the Moab Field Office. The upcoming prescribed burn is part of an ongoing fuels reduction project that began in 2004. The project’s long-term goal is to reduce understory vegetation in the ponderosa pine stands and reintroduce low-intensity surface burns. Ponderosa is a fire adapted species and requires low intensity fire intermittently to maintain health.    

Fire and fuels specialists will monitor fire conditions during firing operations. Smoke may be visible from Highway 191, Highway 46, and surrounding communities during active burning and may linger for several days after. Fire resources will monitor the area daily until the fire is declared out. 

Fire information for the state of Utah is posted at Local media will be notified the day before burning begins. For more information about prescribed burning or fire prevention, please contact JB Clay at the Canyon Country District Office (435) 259-2184.  Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 to ask a question or leave a message.  The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and responses are provided during normal business hours.   

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’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. 

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Canyon Country District Office


Lisa Wilkolak
JB Clay