Now that wildfires in western Colorado are no longer a concern, the US Forest Service can turn its attention to prescribed burns, setting fires in areas that need burning to provide a safer area and better habitat for the state's wildlife.

Prescribed burns also help mitigate wildfires by ridding the area of hazardous vegetation that helps fuel those fires and increase and improve timber stands and diversity. In reality, these burns are wildfires in specific areas and under very controlled conditions.

The areas in western Colorado slated for prescribed burns, conditions and weather permitting include the following;

  • Rocky Pitch: 25 miles south of Grand Junction on the south rim of Unaweep Canyon, (400 acres).
  • 25 Mesa: 16 miles southwest of Delta, south of 25 Mesa Guard station NFSR #503 on both sides of 25 Mesa Road, (1,300 acres)
  • Glencoe Pine: 13 miles northeast of Nucla off of NFSR #503 25 Mesa Road, (500 acres).
  • Western Implementation Unit #5: 7 miles southeast of Norwood NSFR #516 near Goodenough Road, (1,300 acres).
  • Los Pinos: 35 miles southeast of Gunnison in the Cochetopa Park area, (1,200 acres).
  • West Elk: 14 miles west of Gunnison and 5 miles north of Blue Mesa Reservoir, (600 acres).

The US Forest Service has detailed plans for ignition of each prescribed burn. The burns are conducted only if conditions will allow a safe, effective burn with appropriate smoke dispersal requirements set by the state.

[United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service]