BLM plans two pile burns in San Luis Valley

Courtesy photo The Bureau of Land Management is preparing to conduct pile burns in two San Luis Valley locations this winter.

MONTE VISTA — The Bureau of Land Management is preparing to conduct pile burns in two locations this winter, with exact dates to be determined by weather and fuel moisture conditions. Pile burns are conducted each winter to remove dead wood and other flammable materials from forested areas. This process is critical to maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem and to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

The piles planned for burning are located at:

  • Biedell – 3,000 piles. Legal Location: T43N R6E sections 21 and 22. Piles are large hand piles and the surrounding fuel type is Ponderosa Pine, Doulas fir, Aspen, and grass. The project is located on BLM lands 8 miles north/northwest of LaGarita, CO, two miles north of the Lime Creek subdivision on Saguache CR 42K.
  • Macintire Mansion piles – 2 piles. Legal Location: T35N R11E section 7 and 18. There are two machine built piles containing Cottonwood debris from the protection of the old mansion and debris from maintaining ditches.  The project is located on BLM lands four miles east/northeast of Sanford, CO. 

Pile burns could occur as early as December 2023 and may continue through April 2024. Smoke from the pile burns will be visible throughout the day of a burn, mostly during the warmest part of the day. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may linger and accumulate in low-lying areas. Notifications of confirmed burns will be published on the BLM Colorado Fire facebook and twitter accounts, which can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire

https://twitter.com/BLMColoradoFire

According to the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division, “Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

For additional information concerning the pile burns, contact Scott Nilson, Fire Management Specialist, BLM Rocky Mountain District Fire and Aviation Management, at 719-852-8150.