The Bureau of Land Management has announced that it is preparing to conduct pile burns north of Buena Vista, near Mt. Harvard Estates this winter. The burns will be located 5.5 miles north of Buena Vista, a half mile east of U.S. Highway 24, and immediately northeast of the Mt. Harvard Estates subdivision. The operation could occur as late as March 2020, with the objective of the pile burn, to remove the slash left behind from previous hazardous fuels reduction treatments.

Bureau of Land Management Logo courtesy of the BLM

These pile burns had originally been tentatively scheduled for November 4 through November 6, depending on weather and fuel moisture conditions. Due to conditions that were not right to conduct the burn on those dates, the operation was delayed.

These treatments remove fuels, reducing the risk of future catastrophic wildfire. Fuels treatments also help create various stages of plant succession, which is critical to the health of fire-adapted ecosystems.

Approximately 1,250 hand-built piles consisting of Piñon pine and juniper trees will be burned as part of this operation. The surrounding fuels are Piñon pine, juniper and grass.

Smoke from the pile burns will be visible throughout the day of the burn, mostly during the warmest part of the day. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may linger and accumulate in low-lying areas.

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, please visit the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division’s website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

For additional information on the pile burns, the BLM has encouraged the public to reach out to its  BLM Rocky Mountain District Front Range Fire and Aviation Management Unit:

Fire Operations Specialist Matt Norden,  (719) 269-8583.

Fire Management Officer Deputy John Markalunas, (719) 257-8785.