BLM Colorado Gunnison Field Office
Contact: Deana Harms, Public Information Officer (970) 403-5576
July 29, 2023
GUNNISON, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management has implemented a temporary closure to all public use for 978 acres of public land in Gunnison Field Office, from Cunningham Gulch north to Mill Creek Road (Gunnison County Road 727). Gunnison Field Manager Jon Kaminsky issued the Temporary Closure Order in response to the Lowline Fire, actively burning in Gunnison National Forest about 14 miles north-northwest of Gunnison and 11 miles southwest of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, CO. The BLM closure provides for increased public safety and enables firefighters to focus on suppression efforts, and will remain in effect until firefighting operations are completed and safe public access is ensured.
“While our hope is that the Lowline Fire is contained without spreading to BLM-managed lands, the safety of visitors, residents, and fire crews remains our top priority,” said Jon Kaminsky. “We are working closely with the U.S. Forest Service, Gunnison County, and the Incident Management Team to monitor and address the situation.”
The Lowline Fire is a lightning-ignited wildfire first reported on July 26. The fire has burned close to 800 acres along a ridge at about 9,400 feet, primarily in mixed conifer forest, including heavy dead and down fuels, along with grasses and shrubs. The U.S. Forest Service issued a Forest Closure Order on July 27. In addition, Gunnison County issued mandatory evacuations for residents in the Squirrel Creek and Mill Creek drainages. Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 1 assumed management responsibility for the fire under Incident Commander Dan Dallas. Firefighting resources are focused on minimizing impacts to structures and other values at risk. Containment is currently estimated at 1%.
Current information on the Lowline Fire is available online at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/cogmf-lowline-fire. BLM Southwest District fire notices are posted online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-information/colorado/southwest-district and on https://www.facebook.com/BLMMontroseFireUnit. The BLM reminds the public that wildfires are a no-fly zone for unauthorized aircraft, including drones. Remember—“if you fly, we can’t.” For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
– BLM –