Did You See Smoke On the Grand Mesa Over the Weekend
Your heart might have skipped a beat if you looked up at the Grand Mesa this past weekend and saw a lot of smoke rising up into the air.
Flashbacks of the Pine Gulch Fire?
Not knowing for sure what was going on may have caused you to have flashbacks to the Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction and the incredible Colorado fire season of 2020. The wildfire season is just beginning, the western Colorado landscape is incredibly dry, and the spring Grand Valley winds have been blowing like crazy.
No Cause For Alarm, Fire Danger Reduced
Fortunately, there is no cause for alarm. The smoke we saw over the weekend was not accidental and everything was under control. It was, in fact, a prescribed burn.
The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit was successful in mitigating about 300 acres of hazardous fuels on the west slope of the Grand Mesa. The prescribed burn is intended to reduce the wildfire danger in the area by eliminating brush and vegetation growth that could potentially fuel a wildfire in the area.
Multi-Agency Effort In Western Colorado
The mitigation effort was a huge collaboration between several western Colorado agencies including the BLM, Town of Palisade, City of Grand Junction, City of Rifle, Mesa County SHeriff's Office Wildland Fire Team, Craig Hotshots, and the U.S. Forest Service - all of which provided staff to assist in the burn effort.
Wildfire Outlook For Colorado
The wildfire outlook for Colorado this year has forecasters expecting above-average wildfire activity over the next four months with warmer and drier conditions than normal. Regular springtime winds also add to the fire danger potential across Colorado.
It's been said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and we are certainly hoping the weekend fire prevention efforts will translate into an uneventful fire season on this section of the Grand Mesa.
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