The Bureau of Land Management’s Tres Rios Field Office plans to conduct several prescribed burns beginning April 15 or as conditions allow. The burns will treat up to 885 acres of piñon, juniper and mixed mountain shrub within the Dawson Project Area. The project area, split between San Miguel and Dolores counties, is 13 miles east-northeast of Dove Creek and 10 miles east of Egnar. Crews will continue treating up to 2,685 acres of ponderosa pine and Gambel oak within the West Dolores Rim Project Area, about 7 miles east of Dove Creek and locally referred to as the “East and North Pines.”
The planned burns are part of a larger project to reduce hazardous fuels; protect wildland-urban interface communities; improve big game habitat, sage grouse habitat and range conditions; and reintroduce fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem to restore healthy forests and species diversity. Several units of the West Dolores Rim Project were treated last year and show signs of improved habitat.
No road closures are expected, but camping near the units is discouraged. Multiple days of burning may occur throughout the spring into summer and then again in the late summer into fall, as fuel conditions and weather permit. Expect visible smoke in the area for several days after each burn is completed as vegetation in the interior continues to smolder.
For more information on how prescribed fire smoke may affect health, visit www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.