Number of Fires in Region Due to Lightning Activity
Jul 02, 2011 | 3189 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTROSE – There have been a number of fires reported across the region in the last 48 hours due to a recent increase in lightning activity. Most of the fires were small – estimated at 0.1 acres and were contained and controlled with the responding resources. There are, however, a number of active fires within the Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit.

Beaver Fire – Fire officials and public land managers, in consultation with resource specialists, made the decision to manage the Beaver Fire to provide benefits to the landscape while maintaining safety to firefighters and the nearby community. The Beaver Fire was reported on Thursday evening and is located approximately 8 miles west of Gunnison. The fire is on USFS-managed lands and is estimated to be less than one acre in size. Those in Gunnison, as well as those traveling along Hwy. 50, may witness periods of smoke as the fire continues to burn. There are no threats to life, property or cultural resources. The fire is being monitored by firefighters from MIFMU.

Black Fire – The Black Fire, located on Bureau of Land Management lands approximately 7 miles southwest of Hotchkiss, is estimated to be approximately 30 acres. The fire is currently being suppressed with one engine from MIFMU. One engine, one water tender, and a handcrew are en route to assist with the fire. There are no threats to life, property or cultural resources. Smoke is visible in the area.

Pinon Fire – The Pinon Fire, located on USFS-managed lands 12 miles west of Nucla, is estimated to be approximately 20 acres. The fire is currently being suppressed with one helicopter, one engine, 8 smokejumpers, and members from the Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse. The Lewis & Clark IHC and Juniper Valley Type 2 handcrews are en route to assist with the fire.

Red Fire – Fire officials and public land managers, in consultation with resource specialists, made the decision to manage the Red Fire to provide benefits to the landscape while maintaining safety to firefighters and the nearby community. The Red Fire, located in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, was reported on Wednesday afternoon. The fire was estimated at less than 1 acre. There are no threats to life, property or cultural resources. There have been recent no reports of smoke or fire activity from the Red Fire.

While the safety of the public and firefighters is the top consideration in fire management, fire management decisions are based on many factors. Responding to a fire may include using multiple strategies ranging from monitoring a fire that is beneficial to the landscape to aggressively putting out a fire that threatens people, homes, or important natural or cultural resources. However, safety always comes first in fire management. No structure, natural or cultural resource is worth a human life. If you own a home in a fire-prone area, you should take a few simple steps to make your property more defensible. For more information, visit firewise.org.

As we enter the holiday weekend, residents and visitors are reminded to be cautious with fire. If you must build a campfire, build it within a fire ring and away from flammable vegetation. Never leave a campfire unattended, and make sure it is completely out before leaving the area. As a reminder, fireworks are prohibited on public lands.

For information on wildfires and restrictions in the area, call the MIFMU Fire Information line (970.240.1070), visit the MIFMU website (MIFMU), or follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MIFMU).

The Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit covers the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest (USFS), the Gunnison Field Office (BLM), the Uncompahgre Field Office (BLM), Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (NPS), Curecanti National Recreation Area (NPS), and public lands in the counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel.
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