The smoke you may see north of Gateway is from a fire. Don't worry, it's not a wild one.

The smoke, (and fire if you're lucky enough to see it), is from a prescribed burn being conducted by the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest Grand Valley Ranger District.

The burn will be in the Calamity Basin eight miles northeast of Gateway and is targeted to burn 1,700 acres. That area is covered with overgrown and decaying oak. The burning of this area will allow for regeneration of the oak and improve conditions for the growth of other vegetation. The new growth will help improve wildlife habitat in the area.

The prescribed burn is scheduled for the week of April 17, conditions permitting, and only one day of burning is planned. Fire officials say smoke from the fire may continue for several days after the burn. They will monitor the prescribed burn area during the week following the initial burn day.

A detailed plan is being implemented to ensure the safety of both the fire crews and the public. The prescribed burn will be conducted only if conditions are right for an effective and safe burn.

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