Fire crews from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests conducted five prescribed burns during the months of October and November, successfully treating approximately 3,465 acres of the Uncompahgre National Forest.
During the week of Oct. 16 GMUG fire crews ignited the Rocky Pitch prescribed burn treating approximately 310 acres along the south rim of Unaweep Canyon. The Little Monitor prescribed burn took place on Oct. 25 and treated approximately 125 acres along 25 Mesa Road. The Thunder Road prescribed burn was ignited on Oct. 30 treating approximately 130 acres south of Norwood.
The Cottonwood prescribed burn took place between Nov. 13 and 15 with operations on both Dillard and Iron Springs Mesas, and totaled approximately 2203 acres. The Sawmill prescribed burn took place on Nov. 15 in the vicinity of the 25 Mesa Guard Station and Cottonwood Road, and treated approximately 650 acres.
A prescribed burn is a wildland fire originating from a planned ignition used to improve wildlife habitat, reduce hazardous vegetation (fuels) build-up, and increase stand health and diversity. Fire managers officers and fuels specialists spend countless hours developing detailed prescribed fire plans that dictate conditions, staffing and safety requirements. Burns are ignited only if conditions are conducive to a safe, effective burn and within appropriate smoke dispersal parameters set by the state.