Bears Ears prescribed burn slated for Friday

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Fire managers from the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit are planning to conduct a 400-acre prescribed burn beginning Friday, approximately 31 miles northwest of Maybell, north of Colorado Highway 318.

Smoke will be visible to people traveling on Highway 318 and the prescribed burn project may take several days to complete, the fire management unit reported in a news release.

The Bears Ears Prescribed Fire will be on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

Fire managers are conducting the burn to reduce hazardous fuels such as thick sagebrush and pinyon/juniper trees and to improve ecosystem diversity.

“This will reduce the chance of large, intense wildland fires, benefit wildlife habitat, and enhance livestock grazing,” the fire management unit stated in the release.

Fire managers are planning to ignite the fire with hand crews Friday and Saturday. Weather and fuel-moisture conditions will be closely monitored, and the burn will only be initiated if conditions are within pre-determined parameters, fire officials said.

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 land health.

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