US Forest Service News Release; 11/14/2016:
Fire officials for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are planning to conduct the West Elk prescribed burn on Tuesday, November 15 and may extend ignition into Wednesday the 16th. Located about 14 miles west of Gunnison and about 5 miles north of Blue Mesa Reservoir, firefighters expect to burn about 250 acres to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce vegetation (fuels) in the area.
This area has been mechanically treated previously and is part of ongoing habitat improvement and fuels reduction that has been occurring over the past 10 years. This prescribed burn is occurring between hunting seasons and the Forest Service has closely coordinated with Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife in the planning.
Significant planning for this prescribed burn has occurred and one of the most important considerations is for safety of the firefighters and the public. Fire managers have developed detailed prescribed fire plans that dictate conditions, staffing and safety requirements. These plans also provide for obtaining smoke permits from the State.
Most of the burns are designed to re-introduce fire into the ecosystem, reduce vegetation build-up/fuels, improve wildlife habitat and to improve rangelands. The burns will be ignited only if conditions are conducive to a safe, effective burn and within appropriate smoke dispersal parameters.
Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see: www.colorado.gov/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health
USFS Media Contact: Lee Ann Loupe, (970) 874-6717, firstname.lastname@example.org