BLM continues Deer Valley prescribed burn

Fire managers from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit plan to conduct a 150-acre prescribed burn today on Douglas Mountain about two miles southwest of Greystone and 34 miles west of Maybell in Moffat County.

The Deer Valley project is on Bureau of Land Management property and may include a small portion of private land.

Fire personnel will begin work today unless prevented by weather conditions. They hope to complete the burn in one day, but it could take several.

Fire personal and vehicles will be working off the north side of Moffat County Road 116. Smoke should be visible in Greystone and from Colorado Highway 318.

The fire management team hopes to reduce hazardous fuels in the form of thick sagebrush, piñon/juniper encroachment and dead material accumulated in the ponderosa pine.

Removing the fuel will lessen the chance of intense wildland fires that could threaten residences on Douglas Mountain and in Greystone, BLM officials said.

It also will improve overall forest health and promote the growth of grasses and forbs for wildlife by removing sagebrush. The Deer Valley project is a continuation of similar efforts last year, and is expected to continue over the next couple of years on 1,500 total acres.

Weather and fuel-moisture conditions will be closely monitored, and the burn will only be initiated if conditions are ideal for safe and effective fires.

Each prescribed burn conducted by the Fire Management Unit has a detailed fire plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from state agencies. Prescribed fires are one of many tools public land managers use to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires while improving wildlife habitat and overall forest and range health.

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