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Squaw Creek Prescribed Fire

Unit Information

BLM Rocky Mountain District Fire
3028 East Main Street
Canon City, CO 81212

Incident Contact

BLM-Rocky Mountain District Fire PIO
Phone: (719) 315-0690

A map showing the location of the Squaw Creek prescribed fire unit, 17 miles west of Saguache, Colorado. Image options: [ Full Size ]

News Release 
BLM Colorado Rocky Mountain District Fire 

Media Contact: Brant Porter, Rocky Mountain District Fire PIO 
April 9, 2021 

BLM planning spring prescribed burn near Squaw Creek in Saguache County
Monte Vista, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management-Rocky Mountain District Fire and the Rio Grande National Forest are preparing to conduct a prescribed burn in the Squaw Creek area, approximately 17 miles west of Saguache, Colorado. 

Implementation of the prescribed fire project could take place between mid-April and mid-May 2021, depending on favorable weather and fuel moisture conditions. Once started, the burn is expected to take several days to complete. Firefighters will be on scene for the duration of the burn. 

“We will not initiate the prescribed burn until the conditions are right to achieve the objectives of the project,” said John Markalunas, Rocky Mountain District Assistant Fire Management Officer. “Reducing hazardous fuels and achieving resource benefits in the project area are priorities for the operation.”

The burn will treat approximately 297 acres of BLM land and 252 acres of US Forest Service land to reduce accumulated fuels and improve resiliency of the timber stand. Targeted fuels include diseased or infected Douglas fir, decadent grasses, and other ground fuels that have accumulated since previous treatments.

Smoke may be visible in the area both during and after the burn operations. Smoke will be most visible during the warmest part of the day. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may linger and accumulate in low-lying areas. Fire managers have developed a detailed prescribed fire plan and have obtained smoke permits from the State of Colorado for the planned burn.

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 additional information, please contact John Markalunas, Assistant Fire Management Officer, at (719) 852-8160.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
Location17 miles west of Saguache, CO
Incident DescriptionThis 549 Acre Unit Is A Joint Project Between The Blm And Usfs Approximately 17 Miles West Of Saguache, Co. Approximately 297 Acres Are Within The San Luis Valley Fo Of The Rocky Mountain District And 252 Acres Are Within The Rio Grande National Forest, Saguache Ranger District. The Intent Of This Project Is To Improve Forest Health By Reducing Dead And Down Fuel Loading, Increasing Regeneration, Removal Of Trees Infected With Mistletoe And Insects.
Coordinates38.086 latitude, -106.461 longitude

Current Situation

Fuels Involved

Mixed conifer stands composed primarily of Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, with limber pine, bristlecone pine, pinyon pine, and aspen present in the unit. Surface fuels are sparse bunch grasses, sparse shrubs, and timber litter left from past logging operations.