WESTERN SLOPE: Prescribed burning on Dave Wood Road

Plaindealer Staff Report
plaindealer@ouraynews.com

Fire officials for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests will be conducting prescribed burning beginning May 19 and likely continuing through the 22. The burn units are along the Dave Wood Road, approximately 15 miles southwest of Montrose, Colorado.  This work is dependent upon weather and fuel conditions; however, the forecasted weather is conducive to conducting these prescribed burns.

The project is a combination of activities designed to reduce oak brush in the area and to burn the understory of ponderosa pine to emulate natural processes. Under-burning in the ponderosa pine will reduce understory vegetation (fuels), ladder fuels (vegetation that assists fires to burn up a tree and into the crown) and hopefully stimulate reproduction of ponderosa pine.  Reduction of oak brush and other vegetation in the area will also enhance wildlife habitat and reduce the potential for future damage by large, catastrophic fires.

A total of about 755 acres are planned to be burned.  Smoke may be visible in the area for several days after the burn is completed as vegetation in the interior of the burn continues to smolder. Fire crews will continue to monitor the burn area following completion of the burn to ensure public safety.