BLM planning spring prescribed burn near Squaw Creek in Saguache County


MONTE VISTA – The Bureau of Land Management-Rocky Mountain District Fire and the Rio Grande National Forest are preparing to conduct a prescribed burn in the Squaw Creek area, approximately 17 miles west of Saguache, Colorado.

Implementation of the prescribed fire project could take place between mid-April and mid-May 2021, depending on favorable weather and fuel moisture conditions. Once started, the burn is expected to take several days to complete. Firefighters will be on scene for the duration of the burn.

“We will not initiate the prescribed burn until the conditions are right to achieve the objectives of the project,” said John Markalunas, Rocky Mountain District Assistant Fire Management Officer. “Reducing hazardous fuels and achieving resource benefits in the project area are priorities for the operation.”

The burn will treat approximately 297 acres of BLM land and 252 acres of US Forest Service land to reduce accumulated fuels and improve resiliency of the timber stand. Targeted fuels include diseased or infected Douglas fir, decadent grasses, and other ground fuels that have accumulated since previous treatments.

Smoke may be visible in the area both during and after the burn operations. Smoke will be most visible during the warmest part of the day. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may linger and accumulate in low-lying areas. Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and have obtained smoke permits from the State of Colorado for the planned burn.

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, please visit the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division’s website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

For additional information, please contact John Markalunas, Assistant Fire Management Officer, at (719) 852-8160.

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