Monday, June 24

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

BLM planning prescribed burns Project designed to improve habitat at Blanca Wetlands

MONTE VISTA, Colo. — The Bureau of Land Management is preparing a prescribed burn at the Blanca Wetlands, approximately 11 miles northeast of Alamosa, Colo. The burn is scheduled for between November, 2023 and mid-March, 2024, and will be conducted as weather and fuel moisture conditions permit. Fire treatments may take multiple days – or, sets of days – to complete during this time. Specific timing of the operation will depend on favorable weather and fuel moisture conditions. Crews will be on site for the duration of the burn.Prescribed fire projects help promote healthy ecosystems by removing materials that degrade habitats and contribute to the severity of wildfires. Pond shorelines are burned every five-to-10 years to improve habitat for wildlife, improve angler access, and manage vegetation. As many as 200 acres surrounding eight ponds will be treated to improve habitat for nesting and migratory waterfowl in the wetlands, as well as the more-than 150 species of bird that use the area. An informational video about this ongoing project can be found at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16DT6tU8wUs&t=4s.Smoke 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. Firefighters will be on site throughout the day of ignition and will periodically patrol the burns for several days afterward.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 general information, please contact Scott Nilson, Fire Management Specialist for BLM Rocky Mountain District Fire at (719) 852-8150. For media enquiries, please contact Levi Spellman, the BLM Rocky Mountain District Public Affairs Specialist, at (719) 839-1584.Updates on the Blanca Wetlands prescribed burn will be available on the @BLMColoradoFire Facebook page.

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