Local News

BLM Monitoring Fire NE of Montrose

The BLM is keeping an eye on a 100 acre fire sparked by lightning near Montrose.

The Buttermilk Fire is burning about 15 miles northeast of Montrose in rough terrain in the Gunnison Gorge wilderness area. While smoke is visible, the fire is not threatening any structures. The BLM says the fire is being allowed to burn, but preparations are being made to contain it should it start burning outside of the wilderness area.

Below is the complete news release from the BLM:


BLM Uncompahgre Field Office monitors lightning caused Buttermilk Fire near Montrose

MONTROSE, Colo. –The Bureau of Land Management Uncompahgre Field Office is actively managing the lightning-caused Buttermilk Fire burning within the Gunnison Gorge wilderness about 15 miles northeast of Montrose, Colorado. The fire is currently 100 acres, and smoke is visible and may remain visible as the fire continues to burn.
The terrain is very steep and rugged with drainages flanking three-sides of the fire making it hazardous for firefighters to engage. Additionally, due to the remote location, there is no immediate threat to structures or resource values at this time.

"The Wilderness Act prevents motorized or mechanized activities where the fire is burning, and traditional fire suppression relies on vehicles, air support and motorized tools such as chainsaws to safely suppress a fire," said Randy Chappell, BLM Deputy Fire Management Officer. "Therefore, we are developing plans to secure the fire perimeter if it moves beyond the wilderness area."

Under current conditions, the fire also presents an opportunity for benefits to the ecosystem in the wilderness area.

"Using past, current and forecasted weather we are developing a management plan that identifies specific steps to protect resource values in this area," said Chappell. "If needed, additional resources maybe dispatched for fire suppression activities."

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