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Forest Service News Release
Public Affairs Officer: Kimberlee Phillips
Corey Robinson: Forest Fire Management Officer – West Zone – Norwood/Ouray Ranger Districts (970) 901-6691
Ben Sanders: Fire Management Officer – North Zone – Grand Valley/Paonia Ranger Districts (970) 901-6691
Pat Medina: Fire Management Officer – East Zone – Gunnison Ranger District (970) 901-6691
Delta, Colorado, Sept. 23, 2021 – Fire Management Officials from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests have announced plans to conduct prescribed burns this fall. The vegetation treatments will occur September through November depending upon weather and appropriate ground and vegetation conditions.
The objectives are to reduce vegetation (fuels) to help reduce the risk of larger wildfires, for wildlife habitat improvement and ecosystem health. Prescribed fire in these areas will burn with less intensity under moderated conditions which will improve the resiliency of the landscape against wildfire.
Safety of firefighters and the public are the most important factors considered when planning a prescribed burn. Fire Management Officers and Fuels Specialists spend countless hours developing detailed prescribed fire plans that detail specific weather, fuel conditions and staffing and safety requirements. Ignitions will occur using ground and aerial techniques. Ignitions only occur if conditions are conductive to a safe, effective operation and within appropriate smoke dispersal parameters set by the State of Colorado.
The prescribed burns will be accomplished using joint-agency fire resources, mitigation measures and protocols that are in place to reduce the risk and transmission of COVID-19. Air quality will be closely monitored to mitigate smoke related impacts to communities.
The following burns are planned:
West Zone – Norwood/Ouray Ranger Districts
East Zone – Gunnison Ranger District
North Zone – Grand Valley/Paonia Ranger District
For information on prescribed burns, pile burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at (970) 874-6602, visit the GMUG Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/gmug, GMUG Fire Information: https://www.facebook.com/GMUGFireInfo/ or Twitter: https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF.
For more information on how prescribed burning and pile burning smoke may affect your health, please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests manage approximately 3 million acres of land in Southwest Colorado within Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel counties.