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2020-21 Royal Gorge FO Pile Burns

Unit Information

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

Incident Contacts

BLM Rocky Mountain District Fire Info Office
Email: beporter@blm.gov
Phone: 719-315-0690

John Markalunas, Assistant Fire Management Officer
Phone: 719-852-8160

Mt. Shavano Pile Burn

2020-21 Royal Gorge FO Pile Burns Prescribed Fire
News – 2/4/2021

February 2, 2020: With the expected weather coming to central Colorado in the coming days, Rocky Mountain District Fire is planning on completing the Mt. Shavano pile burn on Thursday February 4 or Friday February 5. Crews anticipate needing one day to complete the remaining piles at this location. Updates will be available on this page as they become available. 

January 26, 10:00 a.m.:

Today's snow will allow Rocky Mountain District Fire staff to continue burning the Mt. Shavano piles northwest of Poncha Springs. Crews plan on burning today, January 26 and tomorrow, Wednesday January 27. 
Smoke will again be visible from US Highway 285, US Highway 50, and Salida through the day.

January 25, 5:00 p.m.:

BLM-Rocky Mountain District Fire will be conducting the Mt. Shavano pile burn in Chaffee County on Tuesday January 26 and Wednesday January 27. If conditions are favorable, crews are expected to begin ignitions on the morning of January 26 continuing until approximately 3:00 p.m. If conditions remain favorable, crews will also burn in this location on Wednesday, January 27. There is currently approximately one foot or more of snow on the ground throughout the project area and snow is expected overnight tonight and through tomorrow. 

Smoke will be visible from US Highway 285, US Highway 50, and Salida through the days of the burn. Personnel will be on scene conducting ignitions and monitoring the piles through the days. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may accumulate in low-lying areas.

January 22, 4:00 p.m.:
Crews successfully concluded their third day of burning at the Mt. Shavano location northwest of Poncha Springs and 7 miles west of Salida. Approximately 900 piles were burned over the course of three days. There will be no burning over the weekend. Approximately 800 piles remain at this location that crews will burn when conditions allow in the coming weeks. Light smoke may be visible from still-smoldering piles. Firefighters will be periodically checking on last week's burned piles over the weekend. 

January 22, 10:00 a.m.:
Rocky Mountain District Fire staff are expecting favorable smoke dispersion conditions today, which will allow a third day of burning on the Mt. Shavano pile burn. Smoke will again be visible from US Highway 285, US Highway 50, and Salida through the day.

January 21, 3:00 p.m.:

Crews were successful in burning approximately 300 piles again today. If conditions are favorable, crews are planning to burn at this location tomorrow.  

January 21, 2021, 10:30 a.m.:

Rocky Mountain District Fire staff are expecting to smoke dispersion conditions to improve today, allowing continued work on the Mt. Shavano pile burn. Smoke will again be visible from US Highway 285, US Highway 50, and Salida through the day.

January 20, 2021, 3:00 p.m.:

Crews have completed ignitions on 300 piles over 45 acres at the Mt. Shavano pile burn today. Firefighters will remain on scene to monitor piles through the afternoon. Smoke will remain visible as the piles continue to smolder. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may accumulate in low-lying areas. If conditions are favorable, crews are planning to burn at this location tomorrow.  

January 20, 2021, 11:33 a.m.:

Crews have successfully burned a test pile to ground truth conditions and will be continuing with ignitions. Smoke will be visible from US Highway 285, US Highway 50, and Salida through the day today. January 19, 2021:

BLM-Rocky Mountain District Fire will be conducting the Mt. Shavano pile burn in Chaffee County on Wednesday January 20 and Thursday January 21. The project area is located northwest of Poncha Springs, 7 miles west of Salida. This burn will eliminate piled and cured fuels left from past fuels reduction projects. This operation was postponed from last week due to high winds over the project area. Crews will be burning 500 piles over approximately 138 acres. 
If conditions are favorable, crews are expected to begin ignitions on the morning of Wednesday, January 20 continuing until approximately 3:00 p.m. If conditions remain favorable, crews will also burn in this location on Thursday, January 21. There is currently approximately one foot or more of snow on the ground throughout the project area. 
Smoke will be visible from US Highway 285, US Highway 50, and Salida through the days of the burn. Personnel will be on scene conducting ignitions and monitoring the piles through the days. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may accumulate in low-lying areas.
For more information on this or other prescribed burns on BLM Royal Gorge Field Office lands, please bookmark this Inciweb page or visit the BLM Colorado Fire Facebook page, @BLMColoradoFire. 

January 14, 2021:

Today’s pile burn near Mt. Shavano in Chaffee County has been postponed. Winds in the project area are stronger than were initially predicted. Crews will look for favorable conditions to conduct the burn next week. Please check back to this page or to the BLM Colorado Fire Facebook page for updates.

January 12, 2021:

BLM-Rocky Mountain District Fire is planning to conduct the Mt. Shavano pile burn later this week on January 14 and 15. The project area is located northwest of Poncha Springs, 7 miles west of Salida. This burn will eliminate piled cured fuels left from past fuels reduction projects. Crews will be burning 500 piles over approximately 138 acres. 

Crews are expected to begin the burn on the morning of Thursday, January 14, and continue ignitions into the afternoon. If conditions are favorable, crews will continue the operation on Friday, January 15. There is currently approximately one foot or more of snow on the ground throughout the project area. 

Smoke will be visible through the days of the burn. Personnel will be on scene conducting ignitions and monitoring the piles through the days. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke may accumulate in low-lying areas.  
For more information on this or other prescribed burns on BLM Royal Gorge Field Office lands, please bookmark this Inciweb page or visit the BLM Colorado Fire Facebook page, @BLMColoradoFire. 
Please see the news release below, distributed in November 2020, for further information on BLM prescribed fire and fuels reduction efforts for the winter 2020-2021.