Firefighters plan spring prescribed burn in western Moffat County | CraigDailyPress.com

Firefighters plan spring prescribed burn in western Moffat County

Craig Press staff report

A firefighter walks away from a fire near Trapper Lake in September 2017. Firefighters in the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit plan to light prescribed fires to burn the wood that fuels more dangerous wildland fires.

CRAIG — Fire managers from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit are planning prescribed fires on Bureau of Land Management and Colorado Parks and Wildlife lands in the coming weeks, when conditions warrant.
The prescribed fires are designed to reduce pinyon-juniper expansion and help restore sagebrush communities. Prescribed fires reduce dense vegetation and other fuels to mitigate the risk of large wildfires and stimulate new vegetation growth that benefits wildlife.
Fire managers are planning the following burns, if conditions are favorable.
• In Moffat County, the 500-acre Teepee Prescribed Fire is planned for BLM lands 5 miles southeast of Greystone in the Douglas Mountain area
• In Rio Blanco County, firefighters are planning the 315-acre Pinto Gulch Prescribed Fire on BLM lands in the Trail Canyon area of the Piceance Basin
• In Eagle and Grand counties, the 350-acre Dry Gulch Prescribed Fire in planned on BLM lands about 11 miles southwest of Kremmling along the Trough Road
• Also in Grand County, the 90-acre Geico Prescribed Fire is planned in the same general area as the Dry Gulch, on Colorado Parks and Wildlife lands.
"We will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are ideal for safe, effective burns, as well as for good smoke dispersal away from area communities," said Toni Toelle, supervisory fire management specialist for the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit.
The BLM has been partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other wildlife partners to improve big game winter range for elk, deer and bighorn sheep within the project areas.
Smoke may be seen from nearby communities and roads. Smoke should dissipate during the day but may remain on the valley floors as temperatures drop. Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and obtained smoke permits from the state of Colorado for each planned burn.
For more information, call Toni Toelle at 970-761-0124.
Prescribed fire smoke may affect health. For more information, visit colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.