The Bureau of Land Management is preparing to conduct stake fires at nine locations this winter. During the summer months, forest thinning treatments often leave behind branches and other combustible biomass, which are then organized into piles. In winter, when conditions for removal are safest, the piles are burned. This process is critical to maintaining the health of forest ecosystems and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
Pile fires could occur as early as November 2022 and continue through April 2023 depending on weather and fuel moisture conditions. Smoke from the cluster fires will be visible throughout the day, mainly during the warmest part of the day. With cooler temperatures in the evening, smoke can linger and accumulate in low-lying areas.
Confirmed burn notifications will be posted to the BLM Colorado Fire Facebook and Twitter accounts located at:
According to the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division, “Regulated fire smoke can affect your health. For more information, see [www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.]www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.”
1. whiskey – 3,000 piles. Legal Location: T16S/R71W/S 8, 9. Stakes are large hand stakes and surrounding fuel type is ponderosa pine, piñon pine, juniper and grass. The fire is located 6.5 miles southwest of Cripple Creek, south of Fremont County Road 11 and west of the High Park Subdivision.
2. Probably ravine – 2,000 piles. Legal Location: T20S/R73W/S 5, 6. Stakes are hand stakes and surrounding fuel type is Piñon Pine, Juniper and Ponderosa Pine. The fire is south of Texas Creek and northeast of the intersection of CO Highway 69 and Road Gulch.
3. Tyndall – 3 heaps. Legal Location: T22S/R71W/S 16. Posts are machine posts made from Ponderosa Pine. The surrounding fuel species are ponderosa pine and grass. The fire is located 3 miles north of Rosita, 7.5 miles east of Westcliffe and south of CO Highway 96 near Mount Tyndall.
4. If canyon – 500 piles. Legal Location: T48N/R11E/S 2,11. Stakes are a combination machine-made and hand-stakes constructed of Piñon Pine, Juniper, Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir. The surrounding fuel type is also Piñon pine, juniper, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. The fire is located in the Arkansas Mountains area, 4 miles northwest of Cotopaxi, CO, 4 miles northeast of Coaldale, CO and 3.5 miles north of US Highway 50.
5. Pinyon mountain – 450 piles. Legal Location: T48N/R10E/S 10, 11, 15. Stakes are hand stakes constructed of Piñon Pine, Juniper, Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir. The surrounding fuel type is also Piñon pine, juniper, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. The fire is located just south of the Acres of Ireland subdivision, 0.75 miles south of US HW 50 and 1.5 miles south of Howard, CO.
6. Kerr Gulch – 250 piles. Legal Location: T49N/R10E/S 24. Stakes are hand stakes composed of Piñon Pine, Juniper, Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir. The surrounding fuel type is also Piñon pine, juniper, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. The fire is located 1.5 miles west of US HW 50 and 3 miles northwest of Coaldale, CO.
7. Thompson Mountain – 35 piles. Legal Location: T17S/R71W/S 6. Piles are machine piles with a surrounding fuel of Ponderosa Pine, Piñon Pine, Juniper and Gambel Oak. The fire is located 13 miles northwest of Cañon City, 2 miles east of CO Highway 9 and in the Deer Haven area near Thompson Mountain.
8th. Waugh Mountain – 50 piles. Approved Site: T51N / R12E / S 33. The posts are a mix of hand and machine made timber consisting of Douglas Fir and Engelman Spruce. The surrounding fuels are Douglas Fir, Engelmann Spruce, Bristlecone Pine and Limber Pine. The fire is located 25 miles northwest of Cañon City, CO, 19 miles northeast of Salida, CO and 2 miles south of Fremont County Road 2.
9. Stone hut – 50 piles. Legal location: T12S / R79W / S 8. 5 piles are machine made and the rest are hand made. The piles and surrounding fuel are made of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. The fire is located 14 miles northwest of Buena Vista, CO, 16 miles south of Leadville, CO and immediately east of Clear Creek Reservoir.
For more information on the arson, contact Matt Norden, Deputy Fire Management Officer, BLM Rocky Mountain District Fire and Aviation Management, at (719) 269-8583. For media inquiries, please contact Levi Spellman, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Rocky Mountain District Public Affairs at (719) 269-8553.