The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are gearing up for fall prescribed burns. A total of nine areas are planned to burn. Most of the prescribed burns will occur in mid to late September and through October, depending upon weather and appropriate ground and vegetation conditions.
Significant planning for these burns 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.
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 para-
meters. Some of these prescribed fires may include aerial ignition.
The following prescribed burns are planned:
Myers Burn: Lies about 30 miles south of Gunnison in the Coche-
topa Park area. About 300 acres are planned to be burned.
West Elk Burn: Located about 14 miles west of Gunnison and five miles north of Blue Mesa Reservoir. About 600 acres will be burned.
Western Implementation Unit #5 Burn: Located about seven miles southeast of Norwood, near the Goodenough Road (NFSR 516). This project will burn about 1,150 acres that was mechanically treated previously.
Glencoe Pine Burn-Unit #2: Located on the 25 Mesa Road (NFSR 503), approximately 13 miles northeast of Nucla. This project is designed to under-burn (remain on the ground and reduce vegetation) in ponderosa pine to improve stand resiliency and improve productivity. Approximately 500 acres are planned to burn. This burn lies within hunting unit #61.
25 Mesa: Located south of the 25 Mesa Guard Station off of the 25 Mesa Road (NFSR 503), and 16 miles southwest of Delta. Units are located on either side of the road and a third unit along private land. This project will burn approximately 1,400 acres of vegetation on both sides of the road.
Dave Wood Road-Unit #8: Located near the Dave Wood Road, approximately 15 miles southwest of Montrose. This prescribed burn is a re-entry to complete burning that was conducted last fall. Approximately 400 acres are planned to burn.
Cottonwood: Located on Dillard Mesa and Iron Spring Mesa, approximately 18 miles southwest of Delta. Two units are planned to burn, totaling about 2,150 acres.
Brushy Ridge: Located off the North Fork Pack Trail near the North Fork of the Escalante, approximately 35 miles southeast of Grand Junction (26 miles west of Delta). This will be a multi-year project. Approximately 412 acres are planned to burn this fall.
Rocky Pitch-Unit #2: Located approximately 23 miles south of Grand Junction. The area is located near Gill Creek and approximately three miles south of Highway 141. Approximately 500 acres of this multiyear project are planned to burn this fall.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.