The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests plan to burn approximately 700 “slash piles” in several locations on the Gunnison Ranger District. The slash piles are located: on timber sale “log-landings” and in various project areas where thinning of tree stands and activities to treat insect and disease have occurred. Burning the slash piles will: reduce vegetation concentrations that can contribute to wildland fire; reduce effects from insect and disease infestations; and provide conditions to help natural re-vegetation in the project areas.
The pile burning areas are located: on the Alpine Plateau, southwest of Gunnison; in Taylor Park, near Waunita Pass and north of Waunita Park; and north of Sargents, in Tomichi Creek.
Forest fire management officials anticipate burning the piles between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, as conditions allow. A burn plan has been prepared and approved which specifies staffing, weather and other conditions that are required to light the piles. The burn plan calls for snow cover to be present in the project areas to prevent fire from creeping along the ground away from slash piles. Likewise, smoke dispersal conditions of “Fair” or better will be required in order to minimize visual impacts in the area.