A fire you may see soon on Simms Mesa south of Montrose may look like a wildfire but it is actually a carefully planned beneficial burn.

The Bureau of Land Management 's Uncompahgre Field Office including the Southwest District Fire Management program plans to set fire to a portion of Simms Mesa, approximately 12 miles south of Montrose on September 1 or as early as conditions permit.

The burn, anticipated to cover approximately 200 acres, is being done to reduce hazardous fuels and improve big game habitat in an area shared by both wildlife and humans.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fire Management Specialist Rusty Stark says,

The burn plan contains specific criteria regarding weather conditions and air quality that must be met to help ensure control of the burn as well as to minimize the potential smoke impacts to local communities."

Once the fire is started, it may take up to eight days to complete and there may still be smoke from smoldering vegetation for several days after that.

Because some people have the potential to be affected by smoke from this fire, the BLM is planning to conduct the burn when the smoke is most likely to quickly dissipate.

Those needing more information on the Simms Mesa prescribed burn can call the BLM Southwest District Fire Management at 970-240-1070.