Fire! BLM prescribed projects begin this week

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MEEKER – Fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management White River Field Office are ready to conduct several prescribed burns beginning this week.
Initiation and completion of prescribed fire projects is weather dependant. If weather conditions are favorable, the treatments listed below will be conducted over the next two weeks.
Carl’s Hole is targeted for 40 acres in west central Piceance Basin, Duck Creek sage bottoms. Ignition will be conducted by hand crews and the project will require one to two days to complete on BLM and private lands.
The 1,800 acre East Jordan project is in the BLM Windy Gulch Wilderness Study Area. It is situated seven miles west of Meeker in the Strawberry Creek area along Rio Blanco County Road 7. Fuels to be burned in a mosaic pattern are Gambel oak, sagebrush, serviceberry, snowberry, and Pinion-Juniper. Expected duration is one to two days and a helicopter will be utilized for aerial ignition.
Segar Mountain, slated for 1,000 acres, is nine miles southwest of Meeker and four miles south of Kendall Peak Communications Site on BLM land. Targeted vegetation for this project is oak brush, service berry, snow berry, sagebrush and encroaching Pinion-Juniper. A helicopter will be used for aerial ignition. Areas under and around power lines have been mechanically prepped for this project.
Smoke may be visible to Meeker and surrounding areas including County Road 7 and Highways 64 and 13.
The main purpose of these projects is to reduce hazardous vegetation and break up the dense fuel continuity to lessen the chance for intense wildfires. The burns have the added benefit of improving habitat for wildlife by regenerating new growth.
Weather conditions will be closely monitored and burns are initiated only if conditions are within the parameters for safe and effective fires. Each prescribed burn conducted by the BLM has gone through an environmental analysis and has a detailed burn plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from the state agencies responsible for air quality control.
For more information contact Jim Michels, Fuels Specialist for the BLM White River Field Office at
(970) 878-3821.