In the next month or two don't be shocked if you see smaller clouds of smoke in the air around Mesa County. Between now and the end of March there are going to be multiple crews working from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management unit burning slash piles that were formed from projects being done by the Bureau of Land Management to reduce fuels in certain areas.

The information was first released by Western Slope Now, regarding more than 200 slash piles that were created last year from thinning mountain shrubs, pinion pine, and juniper to reduce the risk of a potential fire. The piles have had plenty of time to dry out and are now ready to be burned. Obviously, firefighters working on the project to burn these piles will wait until the conditions are perfect for them to successfully burn everything.

These projects are so important in case a wildfire does occur, removing these piles and thinning some of the areas will make it much easier for crews to fight a fire there.

The Horsethief project will burn approximately 100 piles nearly 5 miles south of Loma. The Little Dolores project should be around 85 piles nearly 20 miles southwest of Grand Junction. The Sand Flats project will be 15 piles nearly 8 miles south of Whitewater. As you can tell most of these projects are in remote areas, but just in case you see smoke, don't be alarmed.

Even prescribed fire burns can affect your health, click here for more information and how to stay safe.

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