Durango, CO: The Bureau of Land Management is tracking weather and fuel conditions for conducting a controlled burn of up to five units of the Animas City Mountain project area between May 8 and May 11.
The City of Durango partners closely with the BLM as adjoining landowners. Trails, trailheads, parking lots and open space at Dalla Mountain Park, Tanque Verde, X-Rock (County-owned), and Animas City Mountain will be closed for 3-4 days during prescribed burning on Animas City Mountain for public safety (see attached map).
BLM fire specialists estimate that the ignition of up to 494 acres of ponderosa pine and Gambel oak could take two to three days or more and require a brief closure of Animas City Mountain trailheads and access points to ensure public and firefighter safety. The BLM expects to use designated trails as containment lines. To protect nesting peregrine falcons, the two northernmost units would not be part of a spring burn.
“These planned burn projects are designed to improve ecosystem resiliency, enhance wildlife habitat, and reduce the potential for catastrophic fire on BLM-managed public lands in the Durango area,” said acting Tres Rios Field Manager Derek Padilla. “The BLM is working collaboratively with our partners to safely implement these important treatments. We ask for the community’s patience as we move forward to increase fire resiliency in southwest Colorado.”
Conducted under appropriate weather and vegetative conditions, prescribed fire mimics natural processes, improves forage for wildlife, increases plant diversity by creating breaks in the understory where grasses and flowers can thrive, and effectively reduces hazardous fuels while enhancing woodland health.
The projects are part of the BLM’s ongoing commitment to protect human health and safety while maintaining or enhancing forest and woodland health and functionality. To make this project a success, the BLM is in close coordination with federal, county, and local government partners, as well as non-governmental organizations, emergency managers, fire departments, public health officials, and state smoke regulators.
Current information on the Animas City Mountain prescribed fire treatment will be posted online at https://inciweb.wildfire.gov/incident-information/cosjd-animas-city-mountain-prescribed-burn/. Follow the BLM Southwest Colorado Fire and Aviation Management Unit Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BLMMontroseFireUnit and Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWD_Fire for the latest information on wildland fire and prescribed burns in the BLM Southwest District.
“Thank you to trail users at and around Animas City Mountain for staying aware of this forest health project,” said Amy Schwarzbach, natural resources manager. “We hope to be able to support this BLM project in the future when conditions are more favorable.”
For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (970) 375-7321 or rec@DurangoGov.org.
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Public Information Officer
Phone: (970) 375-5090