The Bureau of Land Management plans to conduct several prescribed burns east of Dove Creek beginning at the end of March.
The prescribed burns will take place along the rim of the Dolores River Canyon are part of a larger project to reintroduce fire to a fire adapted ecosystem to restore health forests. Benefits include reduced hazardous fuels to protect wildland urban interface communities, improved range conditions as well as big game and sage grouse habitat.
The West Rim Pines Project includes 38 separate units located about 7 miles east of Dove Creek. Several units of the project were treated in past years and are showing positive results.
A detailed burn plan outlines the parameters for prescribed burning on each unit. No road closures are expected during the project. However, camping in proximity to the units is discouraged due to increased traffic and likelihood of smoke in the area, particularly at night.
“We are monitoring weather and fuel conditions closely in hopes of finding an opportunity for prescribed fire that will produce desirable effects,” said Ian Barrett, BLM Fire Management Specialist.
The BLM obtains smoke permits from the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division which identify atmospheric conditions under which the burns can be implemented. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health
The prescribed burns may be initiated throughout the spring and will be monitored throughout the process to ensure public safety. Smoke may be visible in the area for several days after each burn in completed as vegetation in the interior continues to smolder. Most of the smoke will lift and dissipate during the warmest parts of the day.