Western Colorado authorities and the radio station have been receiving reports of and questions about smoke seen on the Uncompahgre between Delta and Montrose.

The smoke is coming from a fire, but not a wildfire. Fire officials from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are conducting a prescribed burn.

The Cottonwood Prescribed Burn, which should be complete by Wednesday (November 15), is in the vicinity of Dillard and Iron Springs Mesas about 25 miles south of Delta.

The burning operations are adjacent to Forest Service Roads 501, 502, 504, and 507. Access to those roads as well as Cabin Bench Trial may be limited during the next few days.

The plan is to burn just over 2,100 acres to reduce hazardous vegetation and burn the forest understory. The burn should help simulate new tree growth and provide better wildlife habitat.

Another prescribed burn is being planned in the area of the Telluride Mountain Village sometime in the next two weeks. Several large piles from a forest health project in 2015 will be burned conditions permitting.

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