The main objective of these prescribed fires is to reduce dense vegetation to lessen the chance for catastrophic wildfires. These burns will also improve wildlife habitat, regenerate new growth and discourage pine beetle reinfestation in affected areas. The areas slated for treatment include:
• Norwood/Nucla Area Mailbox Park: 200 acres. The project area is located three miles north of Redvale, and north of Maverick Draw.
• Uncompahgre Plateau-North Fork Valleys Dave Wood: 200 acres. The project area is located 12 miles southwest of Montrose adjacent to the Dave Wood Road.
• Paxton: 200 acres, project area located nine miles west-southwest of Montrose just north of Highway 90.
• Dallas Creek Piles: 10 acres, projects area is located three miles north of Ridgway on the east side of Highway 550.
• Raspberry Repeater Site Piles: 10 acres, project is located along the Divide Road on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
The fuels being treated in these areas range from standing and mechanically treated pinyon-juniper at the lower elevations to ponderosa pine, with a mountain shrub understory, at higher elevations. Oakbrush and piles of debris resulting from previous mechanical treatments will also be treated.
Weather conditions will be closely monitored prior to and during the burns, and burns will only be initiated if conditions are within established parameters for safe and effective fires. Each prescribed burn conducted by the agencies has gone through an environmental analysis and has a detailed burn plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from state agencies.