A new lightning-caused fire has been detected on the GMUG, an agency spokesman announced on Sunday.
The Bench Fire is located on the Uncompahgre Plateau, approximately 35 miles southwest of Grand Junction, and 200 yards south of last year’s Franks Bench Fire.
The fire is reported to be 34 acres in size and burning in ponderosa pine, manzanita and oak brush on fairly flat ground. The fire poses no threat to private lands or structures.
The U.S. Forest Service is staffing the fire with an engine and five firefighters. Similar to the Corral Forks Fire detected late Thursday evening, the Bench Fire is being managed to reduce brush and undergrowth in the area and to mimic natural fire patterns on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
Monsoonal rain was forecast for the area beginning Tuesday or Wednesday. There has been no change on the previously reported Corral Forks Fire.
Naturally occurring wildland fire has always been a part of the ecosystem on the Uncompahgre Plateau, a forest service spokesman said.