Pending favorable weather conditions, Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management crews will conduct prescribed burn operations on National Forest System lands early the week of May 6.
- The Cherry Creek Prescribed Burn is 9 miles north of Silt, northeast of the Buford Newcastle Road. This will target 1,150 acres of Gambel oak to reduce fuels adjacent to nearby structures and to improve habitat. “This project will serve to reduce hazardous fuels along the Wildland Urban Interface and support improving overall forest health and wildlife habitat” said Sarah Hankens, Rifle District Ranger.
- The Grizzly Creek Prescribed Burn is approximately one mile northwest of the Grizzly Creek trailhead in GlenwoodCanyon. This project will treat up to 521 acres of mountain shrub, grass and aspen. “This area was selected because of its key location for local wildlife. Our partner, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, provided important financial support for the project,” said Forest Service Wildlife Biologist Phil Nyland.
In addition to stimulating new forage, these projects will promote nutrient recycling of fire-adapted vegetation communities and decrease the buildup of accumulated, decadent vegetation.
Operations on both projects will be conducted following burn plans that prescribe specific weather and smoke dispersion conditions that must be in place before crews will proceed. Firefighters will ignite vegetation and monitor the spread of fire and smoke to ensure fire behavior is achieving project objectives within the parameters of the burn plan. “We will only initiate burn operations if we can do so safely and effectively,” says White River National Forest Fuels Specialist Jim Genung.
Smoke may be visible from various locations along the I-70 corridor, Rifle and Glenwood Springs: please do not call 911. Most of the smoke is expected to dissipate during the day, although some nighttime smoke may remain in valley bottoms as temperatures drop. Any smoke that remains is expected to be of short term occurrence.
Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.