Delta, Colorado, Oct. 13, 2023 – Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests will be looking for an opportunity to initiate the burning of slash piles over the next few months. The slash piles are the result of multiple timber sales, fuels reductions and hazardous tree removal projects. Pile burning will begin as early as mid-October when there is sufficient snow or rain present to prevent fire spread and will continue as long as conditions allow.

Slash piles have been created to remove debris and vegetation (fuels) to help reduce the risk of larger wildfires. The piles are burned in project areas where other means of disposal are not feasible. Forest thinning projects improve forest health and wildlife habitat and reduce wildfire risk near private residences and other infrastructure. Implementing slash pile burning is a critical part of reducing the risk of wildfire to communities and improving forest health conditions.

The public is reminded not to call 911 or emergency services if smoke is visible in specific burn areas. Slash piles areas and possible dates will be posted on the GMUG Fire Info Facebook page.

Slash pile burning is only implemented under specific environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed, relative humidity, smoke dispersion). Trained fire managers conduct the burning of slash piles with a strong understanding of fire behavior and years of on-the-ground experience.

The safety of firefighters and the public are the most important factors considered when planning slash pile burning. Burning will only occur when all conditions of the state-issued smoke permit are met. Learn how smoke from wildfires, prescribed burns and pile burns may affect your health by visiting the Colorado Department of Public Health website


For information on current fire restrictions, conditions and recreation opportunities, visit the forest website or Connect with us or follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook).


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